YASD GhHu Spell-less MegaZig attempt (8th Zig)


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Temple Termagant

Posts: 5

Joined: Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 13:13

Post Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 14:24

YASD GhHu Spell-less MegaZig attempt (8th Zig)

Hi folks,

I Just died stupidly during a spell-less mega-zig attempt.
Here is my morgue file
Though I'm a casual Crawl player, I was disappointed to read in the wiki that spell-less mega-zigging was "impossible".
Actually, I already achieved it locally by the past, before the removal of the disc of storms. So I was tempted to apply on a public server a new way to do it without the disc.

The way I found is the singing sword. It deals irresistible damages to every LOS target, and Makhleb appreciates its songs :)
The problem is : it's a far less common item than an old good disc of storms.
BUT, as all ziggurat raiders know, in the first few zigs, you collect almost every unrandart. I found the singing sword in the seventh (unlucky run, less than 20 unrandart were remaining) and it trivialized the following levels.

My strategy is the following :
- Ghoul (Torment/Rot/Mutation immunity, +10% HP, way of healing by eating chunks, may drink)
- 6 base Int, every other stat point go to Dex, to get a correct dodging score (24 Dex is a target). Str is generally naturally high enough to wear any armour.
- Axe mastery, for the first few zigs
- Throwing mastery, and a large supply of penetration/silver javelins
- Unarmed combat mastery, to single-target dangerous foes during zigs, while keeping a shield of weak monsters
- Worship Okawaru (to get javelins and artefacts) with a switch to Makhleb before mega-zigging
- Cloud immunity scarf to be protected against holy/chaos/petrifying dust clouds -> It protects against Cold clouds too and renders rC almost useless (in this run, I did a few zigs without rC at all)
- Amulet of the air to have a permanent RMsl
- As an optional bonus, the alchemist hat, for rMut, limiting stat drains.
- MR+++++ and rF+++ are mandatory, as rElec and rCorr
- A good shield (preferably of resistance), a good armour and dodging score, so it may mean some unrandart with nice +Stat bonus
- A +9 broad axe of freezing (or better Argua) until finding the singing sword

So how did I die ? :p
Stupidly, for sure ! Like I said, I'm a casual Crawl player, and wasn't prudent enough.
While I was fighting some acid blobs, a floating eye appeared. I tried to kill it with javelins, whereas I was already lightly corroded.
After 3 missed javelins and one unfruitful singing sword swing, I was paralysed 4 turns, during which I went helplessly from full life to death.
- I Should have drink a potion of cancellation to get rid of the light corrosion before throwing javelins.
- Or I should have used some eyes/azure jelly as shields while I claw the acid blobs one by bone : paralysis would have been far less dangerous while encircled by spheres of eyes than by 4 (almost dead) acid blobs

As a conclusion, I'm now pretty confident spell-less mega-zig can be achieved. I just wasn't yet the good candidate to do it.
Actually I was even surprised to win the 6 first zigs without the singing sword.

Hope the next attempt will be the good one, then I'll may try the same thing with living species ;)

For this message the author Flaz has received thanks: 5
chequers, nago, Sorcerous, Stairdancer, VeryAngryFelid

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1174

Joined: Friday, 16th January 2015, 20:20

Post Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 18:39

Re: YASD GhHu Spell-less MegaZig attempt (8th Zig)

Awesome! Thanks for the report!

Corrosion and petrification are among the few ways to die at that point. It makes sense that the combination would be ... bad. I didn't look at the map, but fog can help alot to limit LOS for monsters with smite-targeted abilities like floating eyes (and gives clouds that can temporarily block enemy clouds).

Your setup is very similar to mine, except I prefer melee -> big spells and ghouls' stats make that too dependent on lucky randarts.

Why silver javelins, not steel javelins? To kill mutators to avoid rot?

Your idea for the scarf of cloud immunity is great. Petrification can be a real problem.

I'm surprised you find rF+++ absolutely necessary. It's definitely nice ro have, but I'm comfortable with rF++, and really even rF+ except on the fire floors filled with OoFs. You can always quaff a portion of resistance, too.

Evokables could give you an AOE option (beyond the Singing Sword), but maybe that breaks your spellless conduct. E.g. you might have been able to use a lamp of fire or lightning rod on the floating eye, depending on how far away it was. I think you'd need evokables AOE on living species to trigger Makhleb's healing trigger after getting multi-tormented. If not spellless, Ignition is generally great for this, but is ineffective e.g. on the fire floors, so it's good to also have Glaciate and/or Shatter to instantly kill and trigger Makhleb's healing, and/or Tornado to keep your HP topped up over multiple turns.

(Yeah, disc of storms was ridiculous.)

Do more and keep writing about it!

For this message the author Airwolf has received thanks:
Flaz

Temple Termagant

Posts: 5

Joined: Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 13:13

Post Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 20:56

Re: YASD GhHu Spell-less MegaZig attempt (8th Zig)

About Fog, I indeed used it a lot, especially in hard floors (holy, mummies, abyss...) and especially before getting the singing sword. The singing sword requires a LOS, so after getting it, I limited it only when things go wrong. Sometimes it takes a few turns before engulfing you. Here, I didn't want to get turns with a dangerous floating eye in sight (that's why I tried four unsuccessful attacks), and wasn't experienced enough to realise I could loose ALL my HP in a single paralysis, so I didn't take the time to cancel my previous corrosion before shooting... Lesson learnt ! :P

About silver javelins, they offer a damage bonus whereas steel offer a durability one. Since one or two Shoals floors are enough to get as much javelins as you need, the damage bonus is the way to go. In 0.23 mutators don't rot anymore but apply a stat drain. Before, rotting as a ghoul was laughable but now it's a problem you have to deal with a combination of solutions. One of them is to wear the hat of alchemist which offer rMut on top of plenty other resistances (and that lets some place for +Stat randart). Another one is to recover stats with some trips to the abyss after each heavy stat-draining floor (for example at turn 186624 in my morgue). Another one is to kill mutators quickly from afar with silver javelins : unlike brain-feed, malmutate requires a clear path and that mean you have the same clear path to throw your silver javelins.
Even later on, silver javelins remain useful to quickly disable orbs of fire and monsters with chaotic attacks. Those last ones have a very small chance to paralyse you on each attack, but very small chances always finish to land within a few hundreds occurrences.

About the scarf of cloud immunity, I realised its usefulness when searching a solution against what already killed me in the past : holy clouds, chaos clouds and (when there is no place to blink) calcifying dust clouds. Actually, this scarf even removes the need to have an evocable blink (typically, when you are cornered in a calcifying dust cloud while silenced).
I insisted to keep RMsl with the amulet of the air at the price of inaccuracy. In my morgue, less than a thousand attacks were deflected, but if some of them were pearl dragons' holy breath, it was a good deal. Maybe should I keep it only as a switch for holy floors...

About rF+++, you're right, but I find electric and fire floors very hard, so I didn't want to have to loose some turns drinking yet another potion (haste and agility already are the way to go here).
But a switch could surely do the job in the first ziggurats. In the last ziggurats, every square is occupied by a monster. So, I'm not sure I want to rely on a switch, because it would make the setup time a bit longer. Furthermore, I usually tend to forget cancelling my switches between floors... :lol:

About evocables, my spell-less conduct only consist to not memorize/zap any spell. I indeed used the lamp of fire a lot, especially in the first slime floors and the mummies floors. In the case of my death, it wouldn't have saved me because the targeting isn't accurate from afar, and I began to throw javelins on the floating eye as soon as it appeared in the edge of my LOS. The lightning rod was useless because it didn't reach the floating eye either.
That said, I could rely on wands of acid, too. I think wands are not impeded by corrosion and one beam should be enough to one-shot any floating eye...

Anyway, thanks for your cheerings and I hope the next time will be the good one ! :roll:

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6181

Joined: Tuesday, 30th October 2012, 19:06

Post Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 23:00

Re: YASD GhHu Spell-less MegaZig attempt (8th Zig)

Flaz wrote:About silver javelins, they offer a damage bonus whereas steel offer a durability one.

Steel javelins do also provide a damage bonus over vanilla javelins, it's smaller than silver, but applies to all creatures (not just silver-hating ones) Also it's mulch rate was adjusted to be the same as normal javs in 68e045f01c (Jan 2015)

Steel is kind of like the vorpal brand of thrown weapons.
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Temple Termagant

Posts: 5

Joined: Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 13:13

Post Thursday, 21st February 2019, 07:20

Re: YASD GhHu Spell-less MegaZig attempt (8th Zig)

Siegurt wrote:
Flaz wrote:About silver javelins, they offer a damage bonus whereas steel offer a durability one.

Steel javelins do also provide a damage bonus over vanilla javelins, it's smaller than silver, but applies to all creatures (not just silver-hating ones) Also it's mulch rate was adjusted to be the same as normal javs in 68e045f01c (Jan 2015)

Steel is kind of like the vorpal brand of thrown weapons.


Damn you're right ! :roll:
I only play DCSS episodically and I didn't see that change. Was used to use silver javelin every time I don't need penetration.
So, they may earn a place in my inventory to kill a bit faster moderate threats not vulnerable to silver... (ie. torpor snails, entropic weavers, monsters with dispel undead)

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1174

Joined: Friday, 16th January 2015, 20:20

Post Thursday, 21st February 2019, 16:40

Re: YASD GhHu Spell-less MegaZig attempt (8th Zig)

A Panlord with chaotic-branded melee is the unavoidable threat that will eventually kill a megazigger. And they're tedious to identify, although the recent change to announce Panlord melee brand on sight should be a big help, e.g. a force_more_message. Good idea to use silver on them.

Of course, you're right: I was thinking stat drain but wrote rot. Wild idea to use a distortion weapon to get an Abyss trip to recover! After a few zigs, I use Necromutation every floor and so have the same problem. Wretched stars are particularly annoying since they don't need clear line of sight to mutate.

How do you handle Starcursed masses without AOE spells?

You're right about gear changes getting hard to remember to reset before going to the next floor. Since I've never tried spellless, I won't disagree about rF+++, but I do agree no rElec is very dangerous because some monsters have random spell lists that can include Chain Lightning etc, so you may not even think to swap in rElec. And The Alchemist's Hat is awesome to get a ton of resistances. I find rCorr the annoying one to get otherwise, but also less necessary without a swap.

Thanks for the response!

Temple Termagant

Posts: 5

Joined: Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 13:13

Post Friday, 22nd February 2019, 13:24

Re: YASD GhHu Spell-less MegaZig attempt (8th Zig)

Actually, abyss floors are more annoying than dangerous.

Starcursed masses tend to regroup when you hurt them, so I shoot javelins of penetration at them as they appear. Those who survive often regroup with their neighbours.
Individually, abyss creatures aren't so deadly but their combination make them dangerous. So unlike other floors, it's generally not so critical to be paralysed there for a few turns.
If the situation becomes hard to manage (ie : you're begin to be repetively paralysed whithout being able to kill the starcursed masses as quickly as they multiply), a scroll of fog solves the problem.
- Outside the fog, they stop shouting and multiplying.
- From inside the fog, you can blind-use a lamp of fire and blind throw javelins of penetration.
- As a bonus, the fog limits wretched stars stats drain too

About abyss trips to recover stats, it may be counter-intuitive, but it works quite well if you manage to kill the occasional wretched stars quickly enough.
As it's tedious, I used this method only to recover from heavy stat drains and didn't care leaving the abyss with a few missing stat points because a wretched star appeared just when I was about to exit...

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