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Old December 5, 2008, 15:35   #1
starstealer
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Trying out this whole "dive" technique

Well, in immersing myself the last few days in the forum, I've been rather surprised by the number of people who subscribe to the use of "diving" rather than slow and steady progress (the method I tend to use to play).

That said, I haven't even had a moderately successful game in months, so I figured it might be time to try something else.

Normally I tend to play either human/half-elf mages or dwarf priests. I occasionally try other combinations but ultimately I tend to suicide them before they get too far. In any case, I tried this again last night with the following plan:

Purchase my usual kit - but replace a few of the more expensive items so that I can pick up a few potions/scrolls (something I would never have done previously).

My usual kit for a wizard is as follows: 2nd mage book, soft armor, shield, hat, boots, cloak, lantern (or extra torches with the latest version), shovel and if money permitted up to a trident for weapon (something up to 1d8 damage rather than sticking with the 1d4 dagger). However, since lanterns are no longer available in the general store - I cut that out and the shovel and replaced then with 1-2 potions of Cure Light/serious wounds and 3 scrolls of phase door.

I know it seems to be recommended that the armor is unimportant - but I did try that a few times last night and met an early end each time. Might have been coincidence - but at the same time, might as well spend the money on something.

Each "successful" dive I did managed to get to DL5-6 and ended up with a CL11-13 or so. I know for certain I could dive faster, but I found that I am so accustomed to exploring each level, that I actually didn't even notice stairs as I passed them by. I got better about this by the end of the night, but that's the primary reason I was going slow.

Each of my wizards did meet an untimely demise - 2 from running into Mughash and his cronies and once from being surrounded by hill orcs. This second one, I didn't have the second book (it wasn't in the shop), and when I did a phase door, I landed next to a floating eye, who paralyzed me and well, I got brutalized from there...

Some of the times, I had enough money for a bow and some arrows - sometimes I did not. I seemed to be more successful with the bow though - so despite never using a ranged weapon before, I think I'll continue with one.

I also did a couple of "successful" dives with my dwarven priests - again picking up the 2nd book in town, a moderate amount of armor (basically the same as the wizard), a ?WoR and ?phase door.

Here I found the ranged weapon absolutely necessary for the priest. I am so accustomed to magic missile that I even went so far as to cast detect evil on multiple occasions at my opponents and to my horror - they never took damage... Go figure.

Anyway - with a sling (can a priest use a bow/crossbow? never bothered to try it) I found I was pretty successful.

Got a couple of instances of good luck - robe of resistance on DL3 and a sling of extra might from Farmer Maggot on one occasion, but it was all for nought as all of my incarnations died last night.

I figured getting the dive down right would help me if I decide to make a run for the competition - but with how its going so far - I'm not certain I'll do well.

My biggest challenge right now is learning to run away - something I am simply not accustomed to doing.
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Old December 5, 2008, 15:48   #2
Narvius
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That's pretty much me when I started playing =D

I (and pretty much everyone else here, I think) would suggest the use of a longbow. It has a x3 damage modifer, which makes a huge difference (actually, 50% more damage) when compared to a sling. And arrows are lighter, iirc.
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Old December 5, 2008, 16:04   #3
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I only recently started using the Dive technique as well! I was always a very methodical clear-the-whole-level kind of player and still can be (I mean, look at the ridiculous number of turns on my current high-level mage).

I have been experimenting with a ranger in a couple different variants with diving and it's actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. The problem I am having with V is that the monsters get the first turn when I go down the stairs (which isn't the case in FA), so when it gets to be deep enough where Tengus and Blink Dogs are prevalent, I don't have Free Action yet and get killed.
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Old December 5, 2008, 17:28   #4
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Speaking of ridiculous number of turns for a character - I should get a friend of mine to post his... we checked it last night and he's up to 169 million... and he's not level 50 yet...

It seems I was mistaken about the bow for a priest (from what I have read elsewhere). In that case, the next one will certainly have a bow of some sort.

Also, I seem to have a big difference between my starting stats for a mage than others. From what I see elsewhere - it looks like the base stats people choose are Str, Int, Con. For me, I tend to put Str up to 10 (sometimes 9), and then 18/20 Int (half-elf), 18 dex and enough in CON to leave me with 4-500gp.

The way I see it - the + to hit and AC are big benefits for the wizard, whereas the increased str is hardly enough to affect melee ability (and a wizard isn't desiring to be in melee in the first place) and for carrying capacity (which is important I'll grant you).

My stats leave me with a +2 to AC to start and +3 to hit with melee and ranged weapons. Counterpoint to this?
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Old December 5, 2008, 18:25   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starstealer View Post
Also, I seem to have a big difference between my starting stats for a mage than others. From what I see elsewhere - it looks like the base stats people choose are Str, Int, Con. For me, I tend to put Str up to 10 (sometimes 9), and then 18/20 Int (half-elf), 18 dex and enough in CON to leave me with 4-500gp.
Always max your stats. It's infinitely easier to make 400gp than to bump up any stat points, and you'll find a single increase to any of them (save CHA) will increase your chance of survival.

For that matter, try playing as high-elf for great stats and see-inv. If you're worried about slow-leveling, you'll find that this is mitigated by the fact that you'll be more able to survive until higher levels. If it's for the challenge, that's another matter.

Quote:
The way I see it - the + to hit and AC are big benefits for the wizard, whereas the increased str is hardly enough to affect melee ability (and a wizard isn't desiring to be in melee in the first place) and for carrying capacity (which is important I'll grant you).

My stats leave me with a +2 to AC to start and +3 to hit with melee and ranged weapons. Counterpoint to this?
Relatively speaking, AC is extremely unimportant. When making your considerations, leave that out. I personally don't even bother buying armor and spend that money on ?phase instead, but there's room for disagreement there.

As a mage, you shouldn't melee until very late in the game (basically until you get 3 or 4 blows). Even if you're within melee range it's more effective to use a longbow. You might as well sell the dagger and have nothing in the melee slot to free up some weight.

If you're trying to decide between STR & DEX, I wouldn't disparage STR too much - you'll find a little more carrying capacity will make the game much more enjoyable, which is what it's all about in the end. But since you'll be killing mostly with bows, Dex is useful. If you're playing a high-elf, though, you really don't need to worry about it.
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Old December 5, 2008, 18:42   #6
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Just a matter of point - at the point where I have 4-500gp left, I can only increase WIS or CHA on the wizard - so the difference is minimal to the character's survival. I'll consider it though (and as a matter of fact is how I used to play).

For the high elf I'm just not really interested. I prefer to level up faster and having SI has never really been an issue for me (until recently I usually played humans for what its worth and my most successful character was a human). I know this is just a one-player game, but the way I see it - if a race/class combination is so obvious that anyone would be handicapping themselves by choosing anything else - I would prefer to see a return to an effort to rebalance things. If you want to look at it differently - I preferred the days when the Dunedain and High Elf were not even options (back in Moria...).

I do occasionally play high elves, but I just don't get as much enjoyment out of it - so I tend to move on pretty quickly.

As for AC and such, I did play a couple of times this way last night with a mage and with a priest and was pretty disappointed in both cases. As for being over-encumbered - I find I tend to clear out my equipment quickly (for a wizard with identify) - so I don't worry too much about it. My priest has completely different stats anyway (18 str, 18/30 wis, 10 dex, xx con) - so it isn't much of a deal for him.

Maybe I'll play around with it the next time I play though. It would be nice to finally get an Angband win under my belt - even if it isn't in the way I would prefer to win it...
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Old December 5, 2008, 21:25   #7
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I've almost always been a "clear-the-whole-level-kill-everything" type of player and I'm curious about diving. On average how much of a level do you explore doing this? Do you use up stairs?

Whenever I try diving by going down stairs as soon as I find them I usually end up rapidly out of depth and dead. I'm sure part of my problem is that I try to melee everything cause it's easier. (I only very recently tried making macros)
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Old December 5, 2008, 21:53   #8
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There's a ton of theory floating around on this, but...

Assuming connected stairs:

In vanilla I'm very successful with warriors and rogues by taking down stairs as soon as I find them. By the time you hit 1000', you'll need detect evil if you don't have FA (you probably won't if you're always going down), and you might as well buy a _dStairs at this point.

The trick to surviving is to detect monsters with the first move each floor, going back up if there's something relatively close that can kill you (a paralyser or something equally scary). If not, use ?mapping, detect monsters/evil again and make your way to a down stairs provided there's nothing too rough on the way over. If there's something juicy, like a unique you can handle, you can make a detour, but nothing too big and make sure you keep detecting like a madman. Be very selective about what you kill, and don't be afraid to retreat back to your upstairs and reset the level...unless you think this is cheating (I don't). Don't spend too much time on a level because eventually the game will start spawning awake creatures, and dEvil doesn't catch hounds.

As far as the rest of the kit goes, see Warrior's Descension Kit thread in vanilla forum.

You'll end up with better kit than you would if you cleared each level because items generated deeper down are better. The idea is that your equipment/real time will be far better by diving.

As far as the other classes go, I'm not very experienced with those, so I can't speak to it very confidently. But from what I've read, the same principles apply.

EDIT: I should mention that I haven't won. I have made it to the bottom of the dungeon, however. The above advice is a mixture of divers' catechism and my own measured success in applying it.

Last edited by Donald Jonker; December 5, 2008 at 21:58.
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Old December 5, 2008, 22:50   #9
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And as you can tell from the last post, Mages are (in my opinion) the best divers, since they have a bunch of detects, blinks, teleport other, teleport self, identify, light room, etc. etc. etc.

But it can be done with any class
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Old December 6, 2008, 03:33   #10
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I think the part i'm missing is the detecting. I usually skip most detection stuff unless I'm breaking into a vault.
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