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Old August 20, 2009, 05:27   #1
Bad Tempered Geezer
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Bobert the HE Mage - An Embarrassing Way to Go

So I made it farther than ever with a High-Elf Mage, the 8th character I played in the 3.1.0 beta of Vanilla Angband (Yes, I was kind of lazy and didn't update for a while). I feel like I died with my pants down, and am thoroughly embarrassed by the one to find my body. This is primarily because:

1. I have no poison resistance.
2. I am wielding the Iron Helm of Gorlim. It's what I call Challenge Mode... and Epic Stupidity. As you may be able to tell by my home, I have a special affinity for artifacts (This is the first game I've gotten this far, so they all feel special) and I wanted to keep them all... even Gorlim's. So I thought - hey, I have this scroll of *Remove Curse* lying in my home, might as well uncurse this helm and free up some space in my home... I knew there was a way to remove heavily cursed artifacts, and I figured if anything, the scroll of *Remove Curse* would be it. I was sadly mistaken. I then had to proceed to dungeon level 50 (shallower than my deepest) to find a scroll of Curse Armour to lower the heavy curse to a normal one before uncursing it to remove it. As you can see, I never got that far.
(If this is not the way to properly remove a heavily cursed item, please tell me.)

Otherwise, I felt like I was extremely awesome. I had pretty good resists, quite high intelligence, maxed constitution, and - most importantly - passively +20 speed. However, I was lacking poison resistance. After reading some threads about diving, I knew to absolutely avoid the Drolem and Greater Basilisk. I had never heard of the Winged Horror, let alone that it breathed poison that would kill me instantly at >270 hp with no resists. I probably should've been more careful.

I have learned 2 things in particular:
1. Do not, under any circumstance, wield heavily cursed items unless I actually ever plan on using them.
2. Winged Horrors breathe lethal poison - and at that, I can never know what else may creep up and breathe on me, killing me instantly.

So, based on what I've said here, and the info in my dump, does anyone have suggestions for my future characters, or comments about this character?
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Old August 20, 2009, 05:38   #2
Donald Jonker
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Originally Posted by Bad Tempered Geezer View Post
So, based on what I've said here, and the info in my dump, does anyone have suggestions for my future characters, or comments about this character?
Upgrade from 3.1.0 post haste. The impotence of *remove curse* was a bug unique to that version - not player error.

I wouldn't be too embarrassed about this death. Running around sans rPois is perfectly doable if you know what to look for - mages are just that much more fragile. And winged horrors are some of the sneakiest murderous bastards in the game.
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Old August 20, 2009, 06:23   #3
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3.1.0 is not a useful version unless you patch it by hand--IMO it never got out of alpha, what with the huge bug for *Remove Curse* not working.
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Old August 20, 2009, 07:00   #4
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What?! I thought maybe it was a bug at first, but figured it wasn't. I feel ripped off. Well, okay then. I feel a lot better about that death. And the lack of RPoison was something I figured doable as long as I knew to avoid the dangerous stuff - I suppose I just didn't quite know what that stuff was.

A comment that I do have: For pretty much the whole game, I didn't use my bow. I just stocked up on rods and used all of them that the enemies were not resistant to. I combined this with Haste-self and phase door, along with volleys of Shockwave (dazing them to prevent them from moving while dealing good damage is extremely useful) or magic missile if I was low on mana without potions. This took care of pretty much anything (that didn't have lethal ranged attacks, IE gas breath), and was especially favorable to the use of a bow because my To-Hit values were trash thanks to my Ring of Escaping - which I considered worth it for the speed bonus.
At what part of the game should I expect a good bow to be a necessity?
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Old August 20, 2009, 07:33   #5
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At what part of the game should I expect a good bow to be a necessity?
Dlvl 1.

Well as early as you can afford it. A +9/+9 longbow will last until you can find a decent ego or artifact, and once you get your strength up a crossbow works well too.

Of course when I say dlvl 1 too, I mean relative. A +9/+9 is very good at around level 20 and below, where an extra might or extra shots lasts a little longer, or bard lasts forever, although belthondring is better due to the extra shot, (Except against dragons where bard is king)

Rings of Escaping are pretty worth it though, although you may want to take them off or ditch them all together later on, especially if you get other sources of speed. In any case I'm sure someone else can give better advice on the rings.
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Old August 20, 2009, 07:50   #6
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Seconded. A +9 longbow is likely to be your most powerful weapon for quite a long time. If you find ego ammo, don't waste it on small targets; save it for uniques with relatively large drops (ie Smaug, Itangast, and Scatha.)

Other useful targets are ordinary monsters with drops and who come in groups: Vrocks, other Demons, and Black Puddings(!). (Black puddings were a huge annoyance in 3.0.6; in 3.1.1 they are valuable targets.)
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Old August 20, 2009, 15:41   #7
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Seconded. A +9 longbow is likely to be your most powerful weapon for quite a long time.
... every time I read a post about a mage wielding a longbow, or a longbow being a necessity for a mage, which is quite often, I ask myself why? It seems strange to me to have a mage running around using a bow as a primary weapon. Why aren't mages 'non-proficient' with bows? Shouldn't they suffer a penalty for bow use?
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Old August 20, 2009, 18:24   #8
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Why aren't mages 'non-proficient' with bows? Shouldn't they suffer a penalty for bow use?
They do have significant penalties. E.g. my current priest went to kill a tasty ice wyrm using fire-branded bolts, but after missing it 8 times in a row I gave up, never even having woken it. But even if it had 1/3 the value of a warrior using the bow, it is still the best option for a spellcaster because missiles are overpowered and mana limitations make even mid-level spellcasters underpowered.
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Old August 26, 2009, 14:59   #9
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They do have significant penalties. E.g. my current priest went to kill a tasty ice wyrm using fire-branded bolts, but after missing it 8 times in a row I gave up, never even having woken it. But even if it had 1/3 the value of a warrior using the bow, it is still the best option for a spellcaster because missiles are overpowered and mana limitations make even mid-level spellcasters underpowered.
Seems like this should be tweaked. Slays and brands should be about half as powerful as they currently are. Also, only ammo of wounding should have damage multipliers higher than +10 or so. Either way, finding a crossbow with damage multiplier of +28 and +3 shooting power like in my current randart game is just silly.

It's always bothered me that annihilation was such a pitiful spell. Based on its mana cost and fail rate, it should be doing 600-800 damage. Same thing with mana storm, or at least it should be similar mana cost to annihilation and more damage at its center.

It seems like a priest using orbs or bolts or a mage using arrows to kill Morgoth should be possible, but not the easiest way.

my two cents.
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Old August 26, 2009, 22:06   #10
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Making brand multipliers smaller for projectiles than other weapons is a bit of a mismatch and may complicate the code.

Perhaps use only the highest +dam of the launcher and the ammo.
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