Joined: Saturday, 5th March 2011, 09:04
Whereas most others I die stupidly near the lair, get bored and suicide in the vaults or become overconfident and take on packs of dragons in zot, here I was able to play sensibly and keep my attention as I used my favourite race/feature of the game.
Which should be fairly obvious given my choice of DS and Jivya, mutations. Mutations are the most exciting feature of this game (so far) for me as they can be so very unpredictable yet valuable, and due to this I've lost several other characters trying to unearth Jivya's altar from slime 6.
Prior to attempting the pits, I always went with Xom (had a lot of other DsMos die on me, one on d27 going to zot even) which usually kept me entertained enough as he gives out more mutations than Jivya among other things (one of which I attribute to making this run a lot easier for me, a book of changes [blade hands with 30 dex is silly]).
Luckily, for once (seriously, I've never found a decent combination of items early enough) I was able to enter the pits without worry, as I had picked up a fantastic randart robe which I used through the whole game, along with a cloak of preservation and amulet of res corrosion, both of which apparently give a point of acid resist.
I was able to clear slime at level 15, I can't say I remember getting in any trouble at all in slime except for getting lost trying to find down stairs between level 5 and 6. I assume this is due to luck in the case of items and the spawning of slimes/level layouts as I was also able to lure near every slime out from the middle of 6 individually, then rush in and convert away from Xom. Getting Jivya meant I was able to not worry about food and bad mutations for the rest of the game, but having slimes spawn randomly in levels cleared a lot of possible loot in later vaults.
After clearing the other lair sub-branches, vaults and crypt, I decided to take a quick peek into the tomb which I had only ever emptied once before. It seemed rather easy, so of course I ran straight into the floor 1 main room. Within a few turns I was surrounded by all sorts of mummies and very close to death, using the last tele scroll I had I was able to get away. Getting away meant I teleported into the passage between the two down staircases meant to take you from 2 -> 3. I forgot how tough greater mummies are, I spent a lot of time trying to single each one out while being tormented and gangraped by summoned demons. On top of this, I managed to drop my max health by about 70 due to curses (rotting curses are a bit silly, especially en masse, I believe). I was able to clear the bottom level over a stressful period of time, and received very little as only shitty randarts were left from my jellies eating everything.
After this I made post haste to elf 5 as I feel that is it a lot easier than the tomb. And easier it was, I was able to tank the bottleneck to the vault by use of slimify on the more powerful elves (really, I just wanted a use for this power. Not to brag, but the elves dropped quickly with blade hands anyway) and receive nothing useful.
After this it was a relatively quick trip through the abyss and off to zot. Zot impressed me greatly as never before had I been able to take down orbs of fire so easily, and bare handed. Ancient Liches didn't bother me very much as they were sliced before they could do too much harm, though I still felt that hell/pand was too risky and I wanted my first win.
Looking back, it seems that the real reason this character was so succesful was luck in items and mutations (+18 AC from scales/ice, totalling at around 30 AC and 35 EV, holy shit I was impressed), the early randart robe is what kept him alive long enough to get the anti acid equipment, and blade hands opened up lategame opportunities. I'd suggest anyone who is easily bored with characters to give this combination a try, if you enjoy punching dragons and leaving the dungeon in a new body. Though it feels rather difficult getting to/past the lair unless blessed with great gear. Finding 3 staves of energy this game makes me want to play a caster, though I can already foresee that it will result in 0 staves and amazing heavy armour.
Rant(s): Jivya's mutation system is odd, it is reset by how often you gain piety or how much your slimes eat or somesuch, while it also becomes rather redundant where he gives out 1/2 levels of bad mutation, then takes them away, then gives out level 1 (I only got level 2 eyes for about 10 minutes) good mutation for a bit before taking it away. I don't know if this is what was intended, or to make it less exploitable (gather up good mutations, kill royal jelly) or not, but just felt odd to me.
The mummy rot curse becomes rediculous when going through the tomb, I only killed about half of the mummies between the 3 levels and still came out missing 70 max hp, I've not found any resist rot gear and do not know if exists as this is the only place I know of in which it would be necessary. Though this could be in attempt to make it a tougher choice to attempt Tomb/promote the use of undead characters, it's rather annoying. Having potions/wands heal maybe half their worth in rot would help.
Less of a rant, but more of a reason to use Xom, in previous games he has given me upwards of 4-8k gold in chunks of 1-2k, didn't see this mentioned anywhere.
TL;DR Here is morgue file http://pastebin.com/fk2dw956