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Old November 26, 2016, 22:04   #1
Nivra
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Rogue magic

I'm about halfway through this HE(*) rogue character, and I find that I'm using magical items a lot instead of books. Part of it is the crazy failure rates and lack of availability, but part of it is the lack of damage.

In the early game, I never bothered carrying Conjurings and Tricks, as the failure rate of the only 2 useful spells: Tele Self & Spear of Light were too insane to use. Then I used it in early stat gain once Spear of Light got below 35% or so, and dropped my -Light/_Starlight. I'm now in late stat gain, and I've dropped it again due to inventory reasons - I'm carrying a stack of _Tele b/c I don't have rConf yet, so might as well use that.

I also just found Raal's, my second dungeon book. I've gotten like 5 Mordenkainen's before finding any other book, lol. I've decided to drop Raal's, too. If I wanted to use an inventory spot for a ball spell, I'd just carry a wand.

For magical items, I currently carry stacks of:
?Recharging
_Tele,-TeleOther(spell is still high failure and mana intensive),
-FrostBolt(rods), -DrainLife, _DispelEvil (considering dropping this stack)

I also carry 2 stacks of bolts for my HxBow of Power. The rods are there for extra range, and to save on 2 slots of cheap ammo(I machine gun my ranged). The drainLife is there for uniques and DispelEvil for Undead. That's 6 stacks devoted to ranged damage, if you include the ?Recharging.

Firstly, is this typical of rogue play?

Secondly, it feels like the magic books really shouldn't be this useless that I would not carry Book 2 for most of the game, and immediately drop Raal's after getting it the first time. Thoughts?


PS> Here's my ladder character for reference. Any critique/advice is welcome, too.
PPS> When did ?CureSerious and ?CureCrit become so scarce? All game, I've been constantly buying out the Temple and using them faster than I can re-plenish.

-----
(*) Finally settled on HE after repeatedly dying as kobold, hobbit and gnomes. lol. After str/dex/int, I can't ever stack con on my rogues, and always die.

Last edited by Nivra; November 26, 2016 at 22:12.
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Old November 26, 2016, 22:55   #2
Pete Mack
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You're unlucky in your archery, so yes. It takes a while to become proficient in haste self, Tele other, and Resistance--at which point devices become mostly useless. Once you get the next mage book, things will change dramatically: branded ammo and notably better melee. Further, your current weapon is crap; the one in inventory is much better. Between this and bad archery, any character is stuck with devices.

Note: Raal's is useless for rogue or ranger.
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Old November 26, 2016, 23:43   #3
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Yah, I know the weapon sucks for combat. I'm using it to get Legendary stealth, regen, and acid immunity. It's basically my dungeon wandering weapon, mapping things out, detecting objects, clearing rooms of weak monsters, etc. Regen helps keep haste up. Once I enter close quarters melee, I swap weapons.

PS> This all changed shortly. Found a GCV on dlvl 69, and got a Lt.xBow Haradrim (+14,+18), so dropped all the ranged devices except -DrainLife (for range). Still using -TeleOther, and _Teleportation, though.

PPS> Trying to decide whether an Executioner's Sword of Extra Attacks (4d5) (+12,+15) <+2> is end game viable. If I swap in a =Speed for =Mouse, it gives me 6.3 blows @ 349 dmg/rd. Once I get stat maxxed, that should be close to 400. Not great, but if I find nothing better, is it viable to finish off Morgy after I run out of Slay/Might arrows?
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Old November 26, 2016, 23:49   #4
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Let's be honest about magic for a bit -- there's only a few really important spells that hybrid characters get access to. For example, for paladins, it's Healing, Detection, Enlightenment, and Word of Destruction. There are other spells they cast, perhaps even frequently, but these are the most important, the ones where being able to cast them freely instead of relying on inventory items (especially consumable inventory items) really changes how you can play the game. For rogues and rangers, it's Haste Self, Resistance, Word of Destruction (I forget if rogues get this one), and Detect Objects (rogues only of course).

In particular for rogues, there's not much point in stressing about the utility of books. If they don't have spells you want to cast frequently, then don't carry them. The same's true for paladins, for whom several spellbooks end up being mostly junk.

Regarding weapon options: 400/round is endgame viable, though it is at the lower end. It's worth holding onto that sword in case nothing better shows up.
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Old November 26, 2016, 23:58   #5
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Brand ammo is the other really huge one. Unlimited haste self is good too.
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Old November 27, 2016, 00:05   #6
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Not having useful speels in a book is much better than having the good spells distributed over all the books, at the rate of 1/book. Consider being able to drop a book a boon.

The most important spells are those in book 1, for all hybrids. The rest is gravvy.
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Old November 27, 2016, 02:43   #7
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I guess the decision here is philosophical.

The following tenets apply in differing levels of priority:

(1) Hybrid Casters use the same spellbooks as their master caster class (mage/priest).
(2) There should be minimal customization of spells/spellbooks for they hybrid class.
(3) Spellbooks, esp. Dungeon spellbooks should be useful to the class.

Currently, the spellbook system prioritizes (1) above (2), and (2) above (3).

Note that (2) is "minimal" rather than absolute. All hybrids get spells omitted, so that's customization. Rogues get a very different "Detect Objects" spell, and that's customization.

The argument in favor of change asks, if we're already customizing as the above, why not prioritize (3) above (2) and customize some more so that hybrids don't end up with totally useless books?

Yes, it would be a pretty big change and require re-balancing.

*shrug* I haven't really played enough to have a strong opinion on this. I've only ever won mage or warrior.
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Old November 27, 2016, 03:17   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nivra View Post
The following tenets apply in differing levels of priority:

(1) Hybrid Casters use the same spellbooks as their master caster class (mage/priest).
(2) There should be minimal customization of spells/spellbooks for they hybrid class.
(3) Spellbooks, esp. Dungeon spellbooks should be useful to the class.
Plan for 4.2 is to throw (1) and (2) out the window.
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Old November 27, 2016, 03:48   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
Plan for 4.2 is to throw (1) and (2) out the window.
No spellbooks, just find spell scrolls, one spell per inventory slot, git 'er done.

(Semi-serious suggestion; I do think this would actually work well, but would probably be too big of a balance change especially regarding inventory constraints)
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Old November 27, 2016, 06:50   #10
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Plan for 4.2 is to throw (1) and (2) out the window.
Aha! I knew I was onto something.
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