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Old July 22, 2017, 01:41   #1
Snarka
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Question Warrior in the final battle

Hello,
I'm playing Z+Angband 0.3.3, but it seems the strategy for fighting the Serpent may be more or less the same for many Zangband-based variants, at least for warriors. So any tips are welcome!

Here is the dump: http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=20944

I have no bright ideas other than a very straightforward way: get close, fight, and hope for the best )). I've got one potion of invulnerability and 9 of elemental immunity, also enough ! life, *healing*, and *speed*. I'm going also to take scrolls of geno, mass geno, and *destruction* to get rid of anything the SOC may summon. All the princes of Amber are dead. Nobody dropped the Jewel of Judgement! Oh well. I'll take a lot of ! enlightement.

Now the questions.

1) I've got STR DEX CON sustained. Is it enough for a warrior? How important is WIS if I have both anti-magic and good luck? INT is very important for rods/staves which I usually carry in plenty and use very often - but for this particular battle I plan to drop them. So I suppose I don't need INT at all. Correct? Or it may be useful for something else with SOC?

2) What happens to the SOC after I use *destruction* at it? Since I cannot carry rods of teleport other, there seem to be no other way to get rid of dangerous uniques. Lots of them are still alive, and there are random uniques in Z+A. Destroyer, Unicorn, Cthulhu, and lots more - I have no ambitions to kill them at all )). So... if the Destroyers appears next to me, I read *d* - and all monsters disappear. Does it mean that the SOC reappears immediately somewhere at this dlevel in full HP? Or I just have a level 100 with no SOC and need to go up and down to make it respawn?

3) Well. Maybe I still have to carry some rods/wands of teleport other (for the Destroyer), plus scrolls of recharging. I've already fought the Serpent some dozen or so years ago, and vaguely remember that drain of charges worked strange. Like, one rod drained meant the SOC got half of HP back! (Don't remember which version of Z it was). Now in Z+A when I fight power-drainers with some substantial HP (like greater balrogs) - I just drop staves, and keep all the 30+ rods I usually carry. They drain some 3-4 rods at a time and get only some hp back, not like thousands at a time. OTOH, these fights were not too long, with my 700+ damage per round and slay evil/undead/demons. So I could easily miss any huge drains.

So the question is: is it safe to carry some rods? If 2-4 rods of teleport other give the SOC like 1 star - I'd risk it. If it's half the stars suddenly - then... well... dunno... How to deal with summoned things which are too strong for me?

(Actually, I'm plainly afraid!)))
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Old July 22, 2017, 02:00   #2
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Disclaimer: my answers are based on having last played this variant over a decade ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snarka View Post
1) I've got STR DEX CON sustained. Is it enough for a warrior? How important is WIS if I have both anti-magic and good luck? INT is very important for rods/staves which I usually carry in plenty and use very often - but for this particular battle I plan to drop them. So I suppose I don't need INT at all. Correct? Or it may be useful for something else with SOC?
WIS only affects saving throw, which is set to at least 95% if you have antimagic. As a warrior, you aren't going to do better than 95% even with max WIS, I'm pretty sure, so drained WIS is irrelevant. INT might affect your magic device skill, but the effect is probably minor.

Quote:
2) What happens to the SOC after I use *destruction* at it? Since I cannot carry rods of teleport other, there seem to be no other way to get rid of dangerous uniques. Lots of them are still alive, and there are random uniques in Z+A. Destroyer, Unicorn, Cthulhu, and lots more - I have no ambitions to kill them at all )). So... if the Destroyers appears next to me, I read *d* - and all monsters disappear. Does it mean that the SOC reappears immediately somewhere at this dlevel in full HP? Or I just have a level 100 with no SOC and need to go up and down to make it respawn?
The Serpent will also be banished from the level if you use *Destruction*. You need to separate it from its summons somehow. Teleportation of some kind is a popular choice; if you can't teleport the Serpent away, then you may need to teleport yourself.

Afraid I can't tell you about rod charges drain.
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Old July 23, 2017, 02:37   #3
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Thanks a lot!
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Old July 26, 2017, 04:19   #4
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How does the Hand of Doom work? What does it do? Despite this 95% saving throw I managed to get one - barely got out alive...

Also I just wanted to share my joy with you: I happened to kill the Destroyer! After like 15 or so years of playing Zangband ))). One or two of my chars were killed by it many years ago, so I usually flee as soon as I see it.

But this time was kinda funny. I was packed for the Serpent and travelled downstairs. Well, I've found that it's extremelly dangerous to WoR into 90+'s, and my previous char died right after WoR'ing into the middle of a large room with three alert wyrms of power. So after killing Oberon I walked up to the 89, recalled home from there, changed my costume and took everything for the Serpent, and was on my way down to 100.

While travelling in search of a down staircase at 96, I suddenly saw a 1 star uniq zombie. Well... detection showed nothing wrong. Then I saw 1 star Fangorn! This worried me, but detection still showed nobody who could do this to Fangorn. Then I saw 2-3 stars Sauron! Well I decided this is my chance to finish him. But whiile making a zig-zag corridor for him I finally found the source of all this unrest - or rather, it found me! The Destroyer... in half hp. Fine, I decided to try it. The problem was that Sauron was also in LOS, so I quickly made a 2-cells straight corridor and entered the wall at its end. This way I had only the Destroyer to melee and Sauron was right behind it casting some spells occasionally. I finished the Destroyer, with some healing.

An oddity: it breathed disintegration at me once, while I was in the wall - and I didn't lose any hp at all. Is it supposed to be so?

When I wanted to get at Sauron, I saw the Unicorn running at us! Then I quickly fled back to the up staircase. I forgot even to check the Unicorn's hp - pity, it might be also wounded severely... but it was summoning things with such enthusiasm that I just had no guts to look there twice! )))

I met Sauron again right after getting upstairs. This time I decided to fight him. Actually my general idea was to fight nobody, just get to the Serpent asap and try my luck. But... well. I engaged him. Everything went smooth until he casted the Hand of Doom at me and... I instantly went from 700+ hp to 170!!!!!11111

So... how HoD works? I searched the forum and saw only one relevant mention: somebody said that it takes 60% of your HP. Is it correct? If so, seems it is 60% of full hp, not current ones... right? Or it takes some fixed ammount, like 600 hp?

(I still managed to kill Sauron but now my fear of the SOC is even greater...)
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Old July 26, 2017, 04:33   #5
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The Hand of Doom is the big brother of Cause Mortal Wounds. It still has to get past your saving throw, but instead of rolling dice to do damage, it does damage equal to 40-60% of your max hp.
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Old July 26, 2017, 04:33   #6
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Also about the charge draining. I had lots of rods in my inv while fighting Sauron. And yes: I saw this odd effect, he went from 2 stars to 9 in one turn! When this happened I checked my inv and found that all the rods are charging. Before this Sauron's hp were getting down at some regular speed, like 1 star at a turn, and I didn't see any small increases. I checked the messages in the dump and saw he drained my rods many times during the fight...

So I have no explanation why this one time he got almost all his hp back at once. Probably with the Serpent I have to drop all rods, but I feel kinda naked without detection, illumination, teleport other...
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Old July 26, 2017, 04:39   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenericPseudonym View Post
The Hand of Doom is the big brother of Cause Mortal Wounds. It still has to get past your saving throw, but instead of rolling dice to do damage, it does damage equal to 40-60% of your max hp.
Thank you! That explains all.

Well...... seems there is no sure way to avoid this risk. Seems impossible to keep hp always in 70%+ while fighting the Serpent (or Morgoth or any of them Big Guys).
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Old July 27, 2017, 00:58   #8
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Well. A dangerous expeditions with full inv of potions and scrolls from 89 to 100. No Serpent. Thrice up-down, quaffing potions of enlightement (don't have JoJ) - no Serpent. Checking my graphic file, switching graphic on-off. More PoE. No Serpent.

Adrenaline storm.

... And now I recall that I forgot to.... ..... report about killing Oberon to some lousy little town in the wilderness! ))))))))

OMG. Such shame. Now back walking up to 89. Sure I could WoR right now, but one death due to a bad WoR is enough for me.... so... lets walk....
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Old July 29, 2017, 05:12   #9
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What AC and melee stats does a warrior need to fight SoC? Is it possible at all, or I need some special dances to perform?

I dived again and tried the Serpent. Seems my melee is not enough... Accuracy 78, pure Avg.Dam./Rnd: 753 - but the weapon is Diamond edge Holy avenger, so against the evil Serpent it must do double. AC is 175. Speed +44 *hasted*.

Managed to cut only one star from SoC after some rather long exchange (longer than with half hp of the Destroyer). The problem was, I had to quaff a healing almost every turn. With quaffed potion of resistance and a couple of elemental immunity. POEI was a major disappointment: I thought they give all four immunities but actually they give only one... so I have now 2 immunities to cold, and one to fire. When fire wears out, I suspect damage per turn will be even worse...

SOC did nothing special so far: it summoned some not too harmful demons, or lords of Amber (none alive, so it's a free turn). It mostly hitted me with melee - and it's too hard for me. I'm afraid to allow my hp less than 600 (654 is 60%, and as I've seen already - the Hand of Doom can break through antimagic).

I read dimension doors to jump some 2-3 cells over a wall to heal. So... I could go back home, take 99 scrolls and 99 !healing... and this will give me about -5 to speed or even worse...

So... what could I improve?

Here is the updated dump, with the messages during the fight.
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Old July 30, 2017, 04:04   #10
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I dropped all rods and decided to continue the fight and see what happens )). It went much easier this way, though was rather scary without detection - especially after the SoC summoned Azathoth (not seen by telepathy). It was a long fight, but a simple melee was enough, with no any special tactics.

Seems that sometimes SoC did something like *destruction*: when all summoned monsters just disappeared. I saw this once: earthquake, and... only me and SoC. Another time I didn't see this with my eyes, but saw the result. SoC summoned Loki, Kaschei and some others; I got surrounded by them, teleported and waited for the Serpent to come. It did come, but when again I teleported from a crowd of cyberdemons and got close to Loki's place - there were nobody there, and no trace of him by !enlightment. Also the Serpent later summoned Kaschei again! Which means he had disappeared from the level too.

I couldn't loose Azathoth this way: when I teleported, he found me again - though fortunately later than SoC, so I got some clear fight with it for some time. But then I had to endure Az's attacks too, and no earthquakes removed it. And I had no means to teleport it away...

When SoC was 1 star, it summoned Morgoth. Him I also endured meekly.

During the whole fight I had to quaff *healing* every second turn. But it still seemed ok, cause SoC didn't heal at all. I forgot about my sole potion of invulnerability ))) probably would be wise to quaff it during that last stand, between SoC, Morgoth and Azathoth, but I got lucky anyway.

SoC dropped Morgoth's hammer Grond right under his feet! : ))) Like, "take your thingy I don't need it anymore!"

(Here is a screenshot of this, with 32x32 graphic; I'm to the right of the Serpent, Azathoth to the left, Morgoth above, "p" below is some weak random unique)
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