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Old September 8, 2008, 19:45   #1
Colbey
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how to dive?

After spending enough time reading the forums here, and enough time crying over characters lost around 2500' and millions of turns logged, I decided to try this "fast diving" thing. So I scrapped my usual Dwarf Paladin for a Half-Troll Rogue (can't quite bring myself to be a real warrrior and give up all detection spells), and am now looking for the next stairs down as quickly as possible. I intend to be at dlvl>clvl around 9, rather than my usual 20 or more. I'm not surfacing to buy a stack of ?ID every time I run out. I'm trying every potion and scroll I find. And so on.

I tried this once and died a stupid death to a baby dragon. I'm now trying again (with no tears shed). Clearly I need to run more and melee less. But doesn't that stop working eventually? Won't I get to a depth where I'm too weak to kill anything at all? Or is there a particular list of enemies that are good to try to fight, when everything else should be avoided? I'm quite out of my element here. (My usual strategy was the same as I use on more modern console-style RPGs, that is, don't go somewhere where you can encounter things you can't kill, and level up on the weaker stuff instead first. I've never tried anything else.) So how do you level up and get drops when you're always surrounded by things you're afraid to fight?

[Edit to correct the fact that I didn't know my own race...]

Last edited by Colbey; September 8, 2008 at 20:58.
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Old September 8, 2008, 19:54   #2
Narvius
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I usually play as mage or priest, I have never even tried a rogue, but hell.

First thing, I always take each staircase down until 1000' (dlvl 20). My mages die there, my priests survive and get better. They go to 2000' and stay there (well, if they fall through a trap door, they don't go up again). The stronger dragons (up to mature, I think) that appear are easy prey, thanks to Orb of Draining (a r-2 or r-3 ball dealing double damage to evil creature, 7 Mana). Hounds are annoying, but the lower ones (Fire, Air) are easy to kill. Beware the strong ones (Inertia, Gravity, Vibration), though. I usually stay there (usually? I've been there 2 times.) until I kill of most uniques.

I basically ignore any feelings until 2000', where I rapidly gain cool stuff. I buy all !Enlightenment I can get, but NO stat potions, as they are expensive and are often found in the dungeon. I usually carry 50-60 ?Identify, 5-6 ?WoR and all useful rods I can get (Lightning Bolt saved my hide twice).
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Old September 8, 2008, 20:26   #3
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there are two things you need: a way to escape, and a way to do damage. If you don't have three bloews, the most reliable way to do damage is with an enchanted longbow. So buy one at cl 1, then get it to +7 damage ASAP. Also, potions of heroism help quite a bit against tough opponents.

You will also need a source of teleportation ASAP, but if you get a little lucky you can use scrolls from the BM for a while instead of a 4000gp staff.

Finally, pick your targets. For a half-Orc, a group of clear or dark hounds can get you up 4 levels in a single fight. For highbelf, replace dark with light.
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Old September 8, 2008, 20:31   #4
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Oh, setting up some term windows *does* help.

Here's my layout (the inventory part is so big to cover the whole screen - I want my whole screen black when playing):



Especially monster list helps. I died twice because I thought that red 'p' is a novice mage.
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Old September 8, 2008, 20:59   #5
Colbey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
Finally, pick your targets. For a half-Orc, a group of clear or dark hounds can get you up 4 levels in a single fight. For highbelf, replace dark with light.
Er, apparently I misstated my own race. I'm a half-troll. What are good targets at that depth for someone without a natural resist?
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Old September 8, 2008, 21:38   #6
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Clear hounds are still good. Electric and cold hounds are always good, since you aren't likely to
Lose really valuable inventory. And light/dark hounds are still ok if you are careful about not getting stuck playing blind-man's buff. (Fight them in hallways, etc.) just stay away from water hounds and fire hounds if you can't kill them without taking equipment loss. Losing a staff of teleportation is not something you can afford.
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Old September 8, 2008, 22:28   #7
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In my experience, I found that playing in full-screen mode (not big tiles, but full screen) is super useful when you're doing detects to see most of the map. Many times I would miss important items or monsters when casting a detect that are much easier to see in the little default window size.

Although having a term list of monsters would mitigate this risk substantially.
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Old September 9, 2008, 00:03   #8
Colbey
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I'm playing 3.1.x, so the size of my window doesn't really affect how much I can detect. Though I do have a monster list subwindow. (Didn't know about either subwindows or the monster list command until recently, and wow does it help...)

I just got killed again by enemies that, under my previous strategy, were never strong enough to hurt me by the time I was deep enough to find them. Clearly I have yet to internalize the "run early, run often" ethos.
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Old September 9, 2008, 00:41   #9
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run early, run often, and use a lot of archery...
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Old September 13, 2008, 02:03   #10
aeneas
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I'd suggest starting with a munchkin warrior. I posted a little rationale for that under another thread. Basically, playing with a warrior teaches you a lot about getting out of sticky situations, and that teaches you a lot about recognizing them in the first place. Also, warriors are simple- go down the stairs and kill stuff.

The main thing is to recognize that you will die a lot when you start learning to dive. If you try it 5 or 10 times and get discouraged because you died fast each time you miss the point. The point is to die fast many times, so that you learn to recognize what can kill you.
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