duvessa's unironic tier lists


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Ziggurat Zagger

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Joined: Sunday, 5th May 2013, 08:25

Post Sunday, 25th June 2017, 22:23

duvessa's unironic tier lists

So there was an amusing discussion in IRC about this and I figured I might as well post it here.

You may recall that I don't really care for the idea of tier lists since you can just use an ordered list. And that's almost exactly what I'll be doing. But I do outline some tiers because I think Crawl has some noticeable breakpoints in between sets of species/backgrounds. (Like how Meta Knight has his own tier in Brawl)

Species, overall
This takes into account the entire game except for ziggurats. Because species and background differences for 15-runing are so small, a list that only took 3-rune games into account would have the same order.
Spoiler: show
Free streak extension tier
DD > Ce > Tr > Sp
These species are in their own tier because if played at anything above bot-level, they basically cannot die. DD, Ce, and Tr being in here doesn't need any explanation; they have ridiculous early game (effective) AC and HP, making them practically invulnerable during the most dangerous part of the game, and they don't have any particular weaknesses later in the game either.

DD is the highest because of its healing ability. Yeah, it was nerfed, but there's still pretty much nothing that can outdamage it until around Lair, and it is still all the heal wounds you will ever need. Being essentially constrained to Makhleb, Trog, or Kiku is not a problem because DD's offense and escape options are both fine. It is kind of unbearable to play DDAK but that combo isn't even genuinely weak, just kind of unbearable.

Ce has an almost-as-miniscule chance of dying; although its HP lags behind DD and Tr, there is basically nothing that can actually catch you until black mambas and unseen horrors, aside from monster centaurs (which are only a hair faster than you, so they're still easy to escape), and spriggan and centaur ghosts which can't use stairs. When Ce does need to fight things it has an AC bonus, HP, and a 10 base damage melee aux, not to mention +3 bows, so it has no problem with that either.

I put Tr slightly behind Ce and DD since it doesn't have the effective invincibility abilities that they do (heal wounds and fast movement). However, it has such an overkill amount of raw early-game power that it still belongs in this tier IMO. If you melee a monster in the early game there is just no possibility of the monster winning unless it has Confuse, a wand, or an elec/distortion/venom weapon (and why are you meleeing those?). Tr is noticeably less free-to-win later, since the inability to wear plate overtakes the +3 innate AC, the regeneration stops mattering in combat, and other characters have started finding good weapons so claws are comparatively less amazing. Tr is still excellent for the rest of the game, just not as nutty as DD or Ce.

Sp is a funny case, since it doesn't have great effective HP at all; it has some of the worst in the game. But I put it here because the species almost never needs to take damage anyway. Even the surprise D:6 unseen horror isn't that big of a deal because you have innate SInv. The biggest danger is like, autoexplore one-shots, and you can always explore dangerous levels manually to avoid that.

Noticeably-better-than-human tier
Fe > Mi > HO > Dg > Og > VS > Fo > Mf > Vp > Dr

This is probably rating Fe a lot higher than most people. Fe is basically a worse version of Sp, IMO. Worse HP, worse move delay, similar gameplan except no missiles. The thing is, 8 move delay is still really good, enough that you can get to XL4 pretty safely, and once you reach XL4 you have extra lives, which are excellent insurance against losing the game. Still, if you are very unlucky, you can die on D:1 or even D:2, so Fe doesn't make it into top tier.

Mi and HO are very close together, but Mi has significantly better damage (in melee because of horns and retaliation, and with missiles because of an aptitude advantage, and +2 str as well) while the two species have essentially the same AC, and HO's HP edge is very small (nonexistent at XL1). When it comes time to train dodging then Mi has better EV as well, but this difference is too marginal to matter. HO does perform slightly better in some mage backgrounds (Cj, Su, Ne, FE, IE, EE) than Mi does, but Mi performs slightly better at like, every other background, so...

A few years ago I would have put Dg above Mi and HO and likely Fe as well, but the devs just cannot. stop. buffing. gods. Okay, getting Trog 1* wins you the game, whatever, oh and now Fedhas and Kiku 1* win you the game too, okay I guess at least Trog and Fedhas piety gain are nerfed now...oh look now there are even more gods and four of them give you awesome abilities as soon as you start worshipping them. I can't put Dg in top tier when everyone else can get Deus Ex Machina Ex Deus after a couple dungeon levels. Nonetheless, Dg's pre-god power level is one of the highest in the game, and D:1-3 are still really important. It's not lacking in power later on either, if you care about that.

I'm still a little (pleasantly) surprised that any part of my Og nerf proposal went through at all. Their melee is less ridiculous now, although it's still very good due to high Str. While throwing is really broken once you have some skill, early-game throwing is pretty fishy and definitely worse than bows. So what earns Og this spot is that it still has the highest HP in the game.

VS has outstanding melee damage combined with guardian spirit. This easily makes up for the lack of HP, just remember that the Pois status bypasses guardian spirit for no reason.

Fo had its early game over-buffed. Unlimited, not-too-loud digging from turn 0, good HP, and the only aptitude that hurts is Bows. Self-shaft is an incredibly desperate option, but it's better than not having it. Of course, the stasis starts hurting later on since you can't haste. Teleportation is inferior to moving through your carefully dug tunnels, except in Zot:5 and orb run, so that does make Fo somewhat awkward there, but not to the point of it really being dangerous.

Mf probably has the silliest aptitudes in the game, giving it good melee and good EV with about average HP. You might notice that everything above has either well-above-average HP or some broken special ability. Mf doesn't have these (well, it has the broken special ability on levels with water but most levels don't have water, thank god), so it's not going much higher than this.

Vp is seriously underrated, I might even be placing it too low on this list. Sure, being undead is a disadvantage, but once you kill a couple of monsters you get regeneration, which is outstanding early. Speaking of killing monsters, you have fangs 3, giving you great melee damage. Then you get bat form at XL3, and 6 move delay on demand is pretty amazing even with bat form's restrictions.

Dr is basically a better human that gets slowed by cold attacks. This really only matters if a centaur generates with a shortbow of freezing before you reach XL7. This is not something that happens often, and it's not instant death or anything when it does, anyway. Oh also, you get a breath weapon and if you're lucky it might even be a good one.

Not-much-different-from-human tier
Gh > Hu > Gr > Te > Op > Ha

Gh has the worst attribute total in the game, but it does have good strength and it has chunk healing. At XL1 I think it's worse than human; it can't use chunk healing without killing a monster and at very low XLs chunk healing is not very good. But it quickly becomes very good. Weapons tend to beat untransformed unarmed even with claws 1 and an aptitude difference of 2, and ghouls can't transform, so Gh having claws 1 and +1 unarmed isn't much of an advantage. The poison immunity is probably more relevant; Gh doesn't die to blowgun kobolds and rarely dies to adders.

Hu is the baseline.

Gr has AC, which is really good, but it also has bad HP, which is really bad. Its aptitudes are practically human. I think it beats Hu on D:1 by a bit, due to the +2 AC, and obviously it has the advantage of not dying randomly to poison, but the period between D:3-ish and D:8-ish is worse for Gr than it is for Hu in my opinion. And those levels are still pretty dangerous.

Te has good aptitudes and great aux attacks as well. Once it reaches XL5 I'd say it's better than Hu because it gets fast movement, but before then it is significantly worse because of a serious lack of HP. You might be noticing a trend here. HP is really important. Also, while it does get fast movement at XL5, the fast movement is really obnoxious to maintain until XL14. devs plz fix, i dont care whether you do it by making permaflight available at xl5 or by removing the fast movement entirely

Op is in this tier for one reason: melee damage. Constriction and squeeze combine to give Op amazing melee damage with no skill investment required, giving it a pretty strong D:1, and being generally useful for the rest of the early game as well. However, the species has bad HP and 1 AC, restricting the number of monsters you can safely use that huge melee damage against. Also, you can't constrict large stuff, so the species is basically designed to get obliterated by centaurs.

Ha is a weirdly inferior human (worse damage, worse HP) that's pushed towards slings really hard. This is pretty much everything there is to say about Ha.

Bad tier
Ds > DE > Ko > Ba > Mu

Ds, too, can overtake Hu after a few XLs if they're lucky. However, they start out as significantly worse humans, with the -1 experience aptitude being particularly bad, since you need XLs to stop being worse than Hu.

Obviously, DE is the most intelligent and attractive species, but unfortunately it is also one of the weakest. It has great skill aptitudes (spell-less backgrounds still have bows), but a skill lead pales in comparison to a max HP lead (or a gimmick like digging or speed or an outstanding aux attack or whatever).

Ko's HP and EV are slightly better than DE's, but Ko's attributes and skill aptitudes are way worse, and being small means it can't use a bunch of the best weapons. DE with bows is better than Ko with crossbows, throwing, or slings (bows are really good). Carnivore is nothing. As far as I'm concerned Ko in DCSS are just DE with two differences: 1. they're worse, 2. I don't want them to sit on my face.

Ba's 12 move delay is just such a big problem. Hop lets them abuse stairs more or less fine and the aptitudes help, but being slow on D:1 is still just so bad. The 8los is bad too.

0.6's introduction of more aggressive OOD spawns makes it so Mu can't scum respawns until Lair (and by Lair, every other species can scum respawns too). And with the bad aptitudes, rF-, and by far the most importantly, the lack of potions, Mu is pretty bad. However, I no longer think it is the worst species in the game. There have been several changes that were (probably inadvertently) generous to Mu's early game ability:
- Pois status is more relevant and rPois is no longer reliable against it, making Mu's poison immunity (which is true immunity now!) more relevant, as adders and blowgun kobolds are still major threats.
- No more arrows of flame or frost that do pure fire or cold damage. A centaur with a shortbow of flaming is far less scary now. For that matter, no arrows/darts/etc. of flame at all, reducing the number of fire attacks thrown at you.
- No more wands of fire.
- Kiku gives you guaranteed Pain, Animate Skeleton, Vampiric Draining in the first book, just like old times, because you can't cast Regeneration or Sublimation of Blood. Since Animate Skeleton and Vampiric Draining are two of the best spells in the game, this is significant.
- Gozag. This is such a broken god. Admittedly finding a Gozag altar carries pretty much any character, but the effect is most pronounced on Mu since you get access to potions, the one thing the species is definitely not supposed to have access to. And if you do want to scum Lair...well, with Gozag, you sure can. (Ru and Hep are also busted obviously, but not specifically for Mu like Kiku and Gozag are).
Yes, you are still exceptionally susceptible to dying in the pre-god part of the game due to no potions; Mu is still bad, that's why it's in the Bad tier. And if you don't worship Gozag then it also has the worst late game of any species due to having no potions. But...

Naga tier
Na

I seriously wonder why I hear so little about how astonishingly bad nagas are.

It's D:1. You have 3 AC if you picked Fi, 2 AC if you picked As or Hu, and 1 AC otherwise. You have bad EV (5 if you picked Fi, otherwise 10 at best). You have 14 move delay. You have a tail, but you can't slap things with it because only draconians get to do that. You do not have constriction. You do not have hop. You have aptitudes slightly worse than humans'.
In exchange, you have a breath weapon. This breath weapon has a range of 5, a cooldown of (2+1d5)*10 aut, and a to-hit of 6. It does 1d9 damage, which sounds pretty good, but since it has to hit to do damage, and also checks AC, it's not as good as it sounds. It's also pure poison damage, so it sucks against oozes. If it hits and still does damage after AC, it has a 2/3 chance of poisoning the monster.
(When you reach XL2 it has a to-hit of 7 and does 1d10, woohoo. XL3 doesn't improve it, successive even XLs do; the to-hit is 6+floor((XL+4)/6)) and the damage is 1d(9+floor(XL/2)).)
You could kite with the breath weapon, except your move delay is 14, so you're going to get hit a bunch if you do that, and your XL1-2 AC and EV are literally the worst in the game - your 20% HP bonus unfortunately doesn't make up for all of that, and remember that your exp aptitude is also worse than humans'.
So you're reliant on a damage-over-time spell that doesn't reliably apply the damage-over-time, and when it does apply it's a big problem that it's damage-over-time because you can't kite to let that time elapse. And you also have the worst AC and EV of any character on D:1.
Basically, with early game nagas, everything you wake up that isn't a rat or frilled lizard is scary. Jackals will cream you, oozes will cream you. You aren't even good against adders because you have no defenses, they have 15 EV to dodge your poison spits, and your rPois doesn't work anymore.

Species, for D:1 only
Spoiler: show
DD > Tr > Ce > Mi > Sp > Dg > Og > VS > HO > Fo > Vp > Fe > Dr > Op > Gr > Te > Hu > Ha > Ds > Mu > DE > Ko > Ba > Na
Mostly this is just species with auxes moving up. Tr goes up above Ce, because like DD, it can stand in front of every D:1 monster for 100 turns if it wants. Fe falls down a lot, because its D:1 is by far the worst thing about it. Gr jumps up a bit because +2 innate AC is very good for D:1, it's the rest of early dungeon that is the problem for Gr.

Species, for Lair+ only
Spoiler: show
i.e., if you already made it to Lair, here is how easy/hard the rest of the game is. This is not a realtime speedrun ranking.
DD > Ce > Fe > Sp > Mi > HO > Gh > DE > Gr > Mf > Te > Dg > Tr > Og > VS > Ds > Dr > Vp > Hu > Ha > Ko > Op > Ba > Na > Fo > Mu
At this point Tr and Og have comparatively bad AC so they require paying more attention, but are still comfortably easier than median. Gh has a ton of healing and VS's lack of potion healing is now annoying. Te and DE can now just spam either missiles or spells so their bad HP doesn't hurt much anymore. Gr is in a similar situation because of its AC. Also, Na no longer has 1 AC. Op still has 1 AC. Fo is starting to become a pain in the ass.
Hu looks low on both of these lists because the points where Hu is better than Te and Gr are after D:1 but before Lair. D:2 and the next few dungeon levels are still very important!

Species in Abyss, Hells, Pan, Tomb only
Because I know someone wants this.
Spoiler: show
Ce > Sp > Gr > DE > Te > Dg > Tr > HO > Mi > Og > DD > Ds > Op > Mf > Dr > Hu > VS > Ba > Na > Ha > Ko > Gh > Vp > Fe > Mu > Fo
Movement delay is still "king", but Na jumps up a bit because it's not as crippling as it was earlier in the game and they have a big HP advantage now, along with a barding, and can always learn Cblink. Ba is in a similar situation, but of course it could have found boots of running (basically making it into Hu with 8los) and its move delay penalty is not as bad in the first place.
Conjurations are now the easiest way to kill things, so high Int species (DE, Te, Op because of rings) are great too, and Dg combines that with +10% HP, making up for the lack of a god.
Tr is in a remarkably good position to kill things with either Statue Form or throwing while having +30% HP. Og can do something similar but not as well. Of course, Mi and HO are still good, I'd say HO finally overtakes Mi here because of its better spell aptitudes.
DD falls down because the no-regeneration gimmick is suddenly really, really annoying due to the amount of torment, and being able to spam heal wounds isn't that important anymore.
At this point Gh has an HP advantage, and it still has great chunk healing, and torment/malmutate/contam immunity is obviously convenient, but it's really hurt by its inability to cast the best necromancy spells (Borg's and DDoor). On a hypothetical list for doing extended with no spells and no god, Gh would be at the top, but there's not really any reason to do extended with no spells and no god. That's not to say Gh extended is hard, it's still very easy, but it's not as safe as it is with living species. Vp has the same problems except it doesn't even have chunk healing or an HP advantage.
Mu has that disadvantage and still doesn't have potions which means less haste than everyone else (none at all with non-Gozag/Nemelex), and it can't cast regeneration.
Fo is the only species that can't cblink or haste at all and it deserves to be at the bottom of this list for that alone IMO.

Note that the differences between species in extended are naturally very small. Doing extended with Mu is only slightly harder than doing it with Ce.

Backgrounds, overall
Not much point in making a separate list for ranking backgrounds late-game since the only late-game thing significantly affected by background is stats and presence of Trog or Lugonu. Backgrounds are also balanced a lot closer to each other than species, and the majority of them can reliably carry any species.
Spoiler: show
Free streak extension tier 2: Electric Boogaloo
IE > Be
If you're a Be and you can get next to a monster without getting confused, the monster dies to Berserk.
If you're an IE and you can get next to a monster without getting confused, the monster dies to Freeze, unless it has a bunch of rC.
So why am I putting IE over Be? Simple: 3 species can't berserk. All species can cast Freeze. (It's not that great on Mi and Tr but those species don't even need a background so that doesn't really matter)

These backgrounds have no trouble later in the game either, since Be obviously has Trog, and IE has Ozocubu's Armour and Summon Ice Beast (and Throw Icicle, which isn't as good as Summon Ice Beast but it isn't a summon so more people are willing to use it, myself included).

"You won't die as long as you pay attention" tier
Ne > AE > Ar > Fi > Wr > FE > Wz > Su > AM > Gl > EE > Cj > VM > As > Hu
Ne has Pain and Animate Skeleton, so of course it's good, and Vampiric Draining and Control Undead are relevant too.

Regarding AE, I think Shock is the best level 1 conjuration (but not quite as good as Freeze, which is pure ice). The damage of double zaps is really good and you can evem use it to hit multiple monsters. Swiftness is a brokenly good spell, and Airstrike has a constant factor of 8 damage which is pretty high for a level 4 spell, though it's not busted like Lightning Spire was.

Ar is annoying since you have to use bad melee/missiles against harmless monsters in order to save your wand charges, but the wand charges are enough to make it an excellent background.

Giving Fi a potion of might took it from bad to really good. Pretty much any bad early-game situation is solved by a potion of might, and even after you've used it, having it pre-IDed continues to help. The weapon buff helped too.

Wr is like Fi in that it starts with a great consumable. But it has worse attributes and equipment. Having PoG in the starting book is good, of course.

FE becomes amazing once it can cast Conjure Flame, but many other backgrounds, including AE and Ne, outperform it for the first two XLs. Wz is in a similar situation, but flame tongue is better than magic dart now IMO (although Wz does get better attributes). This describes Su as well; its book is mostly great but mammals can be unreliable on d:1.

AM and Hu are a lot like Ar but with a hand crossbow instead of wands. +2 accuracy and 12 base damage is insane for the first few dungeon levels. However, Hu is left in an awkward situation when it inevitably runs out of bolts, whereas AM can lean on Slow and Cause Fear. (Hu's short sword and extra launcher skill is overkill, since even a 0 skill hand crossbow kills any D:1 monster easily.)

Gl lags behind Fi a little now. Probably deserved, since Fi lagged behind Gl for something like 15 years. Nets are still good, of course.

EE gets to do huge damage 30 times (except against cockroaches) and then it's screwed if it doesn't have Stone Arrow yet (and didn't get lucky enough to find more stones). This is sort of nerve-wracking, but if you don't waste stones on rats then running out is very unlikely to be an issue. Even a crappy-power Stone Arrow that you don't have much MP for is enough to get LRD castable and from there the game is won.

Cj is good but not amazing. Searing ray is underrated. VM is similar, Sting is fine for D:1 and Poisonous Vapours is fine for a long time after that.

As took some serious damage from the low-skill poisoned needle nerf. It only gets 8 poisoned needles, so the average number of shots it takes to kill a monster is a big deal. But it still gets poisoned needles, curare needles, a +2 dagger, and a cloak, so it's still good.

"If your species is bad these are sort of scary" tier
En > Tm > AK > Wn > Sk > Mo

En is absolutely, dominatingly amazing as soon as it reaches XL2. But its XL1 is lackluster now that it doesn't start with throwables - it has a lousy unskilled weapon and Corona doesn't completely make up for that. I would be afraid of doing e.g. DEEn, MuEn, or NaEn on a streak because of this.

Tm is underrated, or more specifically, beastly appendage is. Horns 2 does awesome damage, and talons 3 does even better damage now that the kick bug is fixed. HuTm with horns up does significantly more damage than HuGl with a flail. Of course you pay for it with bad AC, so your XL1 is still a little scary. But once you reach XL2 you have OP allies that'll easily get you to XL3 when you can start casting spider form, which isn't as OP as sticks to snakes but is still pretty OP. Everything is pretty smooth from there on.

AK is greatly inferior to Fi and Gl now, in my opinion. If you take the risk of exiting Abyss via the gate instead of the ability (which could just lead to getting one-shot by a hellion or whatnot), you need to gain 37 additional piety to get access to Banish, and because of piety decay, in practice you need to gain quite a few more points than 37. If you don't take the risk of going to the gate, you need to get about 50 additional piety. When there are so many gods that give you awesome abilities once you gain 15 piety, and three that give you awesome abilities before you gain any piety at all, the benefit of starting with Lugonu starts to look pretty small. At least it has a +1 weapon.

Wn usually generates a very strong start, but does have the potential to generate a bad one; it's that potential that puts it low on the list. Basically you'll get one of: +2 decent weapon (potentially a launcher!), +2 dagger and an OP consumable (fear, blinking, haste, heal wounds, or berserk rage), enchanted armour, book, 2 OP consumables, throwing nets, shield, evocable. The potential holes in this are getting a lackluster book (Spatial Translocations or Battle) or a fan of gales. Even when those happen, you get several other items that can still often result in a great start (launchers, wands of random effects, randbook with freeze, potion of lignification...), and it is functionally impossible for Wn to produce something as bad as Mo. It is kind of frustrating how often it gives you awful attributes, though.

Sk has trouble with monsters that have AC (hobgoblin etc) until it gets spectral weapon. Ironically, or whatever, the background with a book full of spells that are horribly broken and OP later in the game...has a pretty bad D:1. It's reminiscent of what Warper would be if it didn't have tomahawks or a scroll of blinking.

Mo is just bad. The piety bonus is great for Fedhas/Kiku/Trog/Ru, and to a lesser extent Okawaru, and to a lesser extent other gods, but good altars on D:1-3 are hardly guaranteed. And boy, does this background have an awful D:1-3, with unambiguously the worst starting equipment in the game and awful starting attributes too.

"Xom can decide to randomly kill you no matter what" tier
CK

Xom can decide to randomly kill you no matter what.

Gods, overall
The god lists have ties in some places. This is because different gods are better for different characters. For example, Gozag is the best god for the absolute worst characters, but if your character is non-trash enough to survive to * with Fedhas/Kiku/Trog then those gods are almost certainly better. It is therefore misleading to put Gozag above Fedhas or the other way around.
Spoiler: show
The optimal options
Fedhas, Gozag, Hepliaklqana, Jiyva, Kikubaaqudgha, Nemelex Xobeh, Trog, Uskayaw
I don't think Fedhas, Trog, or Kiku need much explanation; their * abilities are win buttons, especially Fedhas'. Still, Fedhas is not strictly better than the others because Trog and Kikubaaqudgha piety gain are normally a bit faster.

Gozag, Hepliaklqana, and Uskayaw give you meaningful abilities as soon as you start worshipping them, which is just nuts. Gozag's is better than Hepliaklqana's or Uskayaw's, but you might find the Hepliaklqana altar first. They do have notable disadvantages as well (Hep's frail and Gozag's inability to use zombies/skeletons). The set of characters where Uskayaw is good is also small compared to the rest of these gods; you want to either be a character that does protracted fights (e.g. heavy armour melee) or something that can abuse Uskayaw's terrible piety gain system (e.g. user of a weapon with 5 or 3 attack delay and a damaging brand, user of Static Discharge or cloud spells, or best of all a character that somehow found arc blade before picking a god).

Nemelex Xobeh, too, gives you a deck gift almost immediately after you start worshipping (like, within 10 moves). In fact, if there's one best god I think it's probably Nemelex now, just because of this - that deck is ridiculously powerful early and has at least 4 cards. He even has disproportionately common D:1 altars. This has all scooted under most players' radar (including mine) because nobody really wants to acknowledge that Nemelex exists.

Jiyva actually being an option is extremely rare, but if you do get one of the 3 vaults that place a Jiyva altar early, you're granted nearly instant access to jelly summons (which provide easy healing from ammo/junk and will obliterate any early D monster if need be, though of course you won't get XP) and to Slimify, an instakill button against any living or undead monster in the game.
Kikubaaqudgha, Gozag, and Trog also excel at giving your character a bunch of great items. Fedhas and Jiyva don't, but Rain and Slimify are ridiculously strong later in the game (and you can easily switch from Fedhas to Jiyva too). So not only are these gods optimal because of early game abilities, they're the best gods for your late-game too anyway.

Clearly worse than the above gods, but does something useful
Ru, Yredelemnul > Makhleb, Elyvilon, Okawaru, Zin, Lugonu
The only thing holding Ru back from the top tier is that getting piety is a crapshoot; your first set of sacrifices can all be too minor to get you a good ability.

Yred, Okawaru, Elyvilon, and Zin all have nice * abilities but they don't hold a candle to the * abilities of Fedhas/Kiku/Trog. Yred comes the closest, with its * ability being very similar to Kiku's, but worse. Elyvilon and Zin have the better **+ abilities. Okawaru piety gain is also extremely variable, much more than any other god except Ru, so you can potentially be stuck below 30 piety for ages, especially if your species has a high exp apt and/or you didn't find the altar early enough.

Makhleb is fantastic at high piety but not so much at low piety. Minor destruction is level 1-3 spells, and biased much more towards 1 than towards 3. Meanwhile, book backgrounds are casting level 4 and 5 spells by now, and the healing on kills is terribly unreliable at low piety. Lugonu is in a similar situation (as well as being almost as rare as Jiyva). Of course it does make sense to switch to Lugonu if you get banished. (And yes, DD might as well worship Makhleb every time since it's by far the most convenient option and I'm pretty sure my cat could consistently reach Lair with DD)

Not competitive
Beogh > Dithmenos > Ashenzari, Vehumet, The Shining One > Sif Muna
Beogh is an ally god that offers allies worse than Yred or Kiku's. Converting to Beogh does work to last-ditch save yourself from an orc priest band, but HO is a strong species that has no business dying to orc priest bands in the first place. You don't get smite at *.
It takes forever (100 piety) for Dithmenos to give you something more than an unexciting stealth and EV boost. Still, Ashenzari, TSO, and Vehumet take even longer to give you something good, with Vehumet and TSO being the latest bloomers in the game.
But at least Vehumet does eventually bloom. I can't say the same of Sif Muna, who lost her only good ability (1* channeling) in exchange for Divine Energy which isn't much different from a ring of magical power. Channel Magic doesn't become available until 75 piety, at which point MP regeneration is no longer important. The piety gain and therefore the book gifts are also slower than before, and the book gifts aren't much good in the first place with starting books being so powerful these days. I still want to be one of her girlfriends though.

Not even better than atheist
Cheibriados > Qazlal > Xom
Chei is good for turncount, but this list isn't about that. Immediate bend time doesn't make up for the immediate movement delay penalty IMO, and bend time and attributes are the only really great things Chei has. Combined with the other abilities, it's enough to make Chei better than atheist for some characters, but even for those Chei still falls far behind most other gods due to the movement delay penalty and later the lack of haste.

Qazlal has a horrendous conduct, like Chei, but unlike Chei, Qazlal's abilities aren't even that good. If you want direct damage and allies from invocations just go Nemelex or Makhleb or Ru, their invocations are better than Qazlal's and they don't make you start every level by fighting 50% of the monsters at once on the stairs.

Xom can randomly kill you no matter what, unless you switch to him pretty late in the game, but even then he doesn't provide much of a benefit so why would you do it? I made a more detailed explanation here (some specifics are out of date but the big picture remains).

Gods at ******
That is, assuming you're already at the point in the game where you'd have the god at ******, how good is it for the remainder of the game? All gods reach ****** at different speeds, but I'll pretend to ignore that. For Gozag, Uskayaw, and Xom, let's say you just finished Lair.
Spoiler: show
Ru > Kikubaaqudgha > Zin > Elyvilon > Lugonu > Trog > Jiyva > Makhleb > Nemelex Xobeh > Gozag > Fedhas > Ashenzari > Dithmenos > Hepliaklqana > Yredelemnul > Uskayaw > Vehumet > Okawaru > Beogh > The Shining One > Sif Muna > Cheibriados > Qazlal > Xom
At this point Ru is constantly, passively reducing all hostile monsters' effective speed and damage, and Apocalypse is also outstanding all game.
Kiku is the supreme ally god, letting you make a huge flood of zombies/simulacra for a low piety cost, and you can really spam this because you can keep doing it all the way down to 30 piety - not that you'll ever need to.
Zin has the best "undo my huge mistake" button in the game. Sanctuary gives you effective invulnerability, can be used several times in succession, and doesn't even have a permanent cost like Borgnjor's. It is so good that the lack of necromancy and mutations seems like nothing. (Yes, I know about the very, very edgy edge case of sanctuary-induced death curses in Tomb.) Imprison is still extremely good, too.
Elyvilon and Lugonu have similar buttons, but not nearly as good as Zin's. Ely's is much more reliable than Lugonu's, and pacification is great too.
Trog is giving you awesome weapons and ammo, along with the best summon in the game, more than making up for the lack of spells.
Jiyva's weird because it actively makes your character's items, attributes, and mutation set worse, but the healing is still good and Slimify is still absurd; the only monsters that can pose a threat are ones that aren't living or undead, and not many of those generate, and even fewer of them are dangerous.
Makhleb's healing on kills is now quite strong and so is Greater Servant. You knew that already.
Nemelex offers great summons and some good escape options, but relative to other gods, the number of times you can use them is quite limited - you don't want to be doing a lot of blind draws.
Gozag's gold distraction is pretty good at this point, Potion Petition is still outstanding, and if you've bought any shops then you also have better equipment than non-Gozag characters.
Fedhas mushrooms aren't killing everything for free anymore, but Rain is a completely broken OP ability so Fedhas is still pretty good.
Ashenzari is finally giving you something now, and the things it gives you are decent but lag behind other gods. Monster detection and scrying are great, and the skill boost is far from amazing but it's not nothing either. Dithmenos is in the same situation.
Hepliaklqana, Yredelemnul, and Beogh are falling off now that you could just be casting summoning spells instead.
Uskayaw, Vehumet, TSO, Okawaru, and Sif are all just giving you "win more" abilities, with Uskayaw's being the best and Vehumet's being the most convenient. None of this is as good as the gods that give you real emergency options imo.
Chei's movement delay penalty and lack of haste are still horrible, but at least you have the full stat bonus now. You can also do pretty janky stuff with Temporal Distortion. Step from Time is really lacking as an emergency invocation, considering how many bad situations the movement speed penalty is likely to put you in, and how you can't haste in bad situations without getting penance.
Qazlal and Xom still suck and are still generally worse than atheist.

Gods in Abyss, Hell, Pan, Tomb only
Spoiler: show
Kikubaaqudgha, Lugonu, Makhleb, Ru, Zin > The Shining One > Elyvilon > Gozag > Nemelex Xobeh > Ashenzari > Dithmenos > Uskayaw > Hepliaklqana > Okawaru > Jiyva > Trog > Yredelemnul > Beogh > Vehumet > Sif Muna > Fedhas > Qazlal > Cheibriados > Xom
Zin still has the best invocation in the game, Imprison is still great too, and extended is oozing with gold and chaotic monsters. However, the no-necromancy conduct means that Kiku, Lugonu, Makhleb, and Ru are competitive too.
TSO provides slightly better passives and significantly better actives than Makhleb, but is unambiguously worse than Zin and has the same no-necromancy conduct. Elyvilon still has divine protection but this is obviously inferior to Sanctuary and everything else Ely has is underwhelming at this point.
Gozag and Nemelex still have some busted stuff.
Ashenzari mapping and monster detection are excellent in Pan and Hell. Dith still has shadow form and shadow mimic. Uskayaw gives you an easy way to kill hellpan lords but emergency tools are more attractive IMO.
The only thing Okawaru offers at this point is Finesse.
Jiyva still offers effective regeneration but Slimify only works on natural and undead monsters, and nearly everything dangerous in extended is demonic. The !mutation buff was bad for late/extended Jiyva.
Trog still has BiA but doesn't really do anything other than that.
Yredelemnul and Beogh have been buffed in extended a few times, but like, you can still get better allies from spells, easily.
Sif and Vehumet don't do much at this point except offer extra MP, Vehumet wizardry is unlikely to still be relevant with the amount of surplus XP in extended. Range extension on Fire Storm is good though.
There aren't nearly as many corpses in extended as there are in the rest of the game, so Fedhas piety is pretty short, and there's lots of flying stuff too, so Rain is very limited at this point.
Qazlal noise is still really bad and the invocations are extremely underwhelming.
Again, Chei is good for turncount but reduced movement speed and haste prohibition in extended is just awful.
At this point your mutation set should be as good as it's going to get, so Xom isn't providing any benefit, just potentially screwing things up by randomly paralysing you.


Unrandarts that generate randomly
Spoiler: show
Obviously broken
Weapons:
I could put all the launchers here but it's ranged combat that's broken, not the specific unrandarts.

Other:
Cloak of the Thief, robe of Night

Infinite fog is ridiculous. Nightstalker is almost as ridiculous.

Better than any normal item in their category
Weapons:
Zephyr > Piercer > storm bow > Damnation > Sniper > Punk > dark maul > Skullcrusher > Wyrmbane > Sword of Power > Leech > Wrath of Trog > Glaive of the Guard > Firestarter > Arga > Bloodbane > Scythe of Curses > autumn katana > Frostbite > Prune > plutonium sword > Spellbinder > Gyre and Gimble

Zephyr has the best base weapon type in the game, the best brand in the game, and great enchantment.
Piercer has the best base weapon type in the game, a very useful brand, and great enchantment.
Storm bow has the best base weapon type in the game, a very useful brand, and great enchantment.
Damnation's only problems are that it is a crossbow instead of a bow/sling/throwable, and that it is horrendously unclear about what it actually does. (What it actually does is make a 3d14 damnation explosion wherever the bolt lands, and makes the bolt always mulch. The bolt does not do damnation damage, only the explosion; the bolt still gets reduced by AC, is not affected by rDamnation, etc.) If it weren't saddled with an awful 10 attack delay by being a crossbow, it'd be in the broken tier, because 22.5 mean damage plus the bolt is incredible.
Sniper is a great crossbow. Unfortunately, the best non-Damnation crossbow pales in comparison to a good longbow, or high Throwing skill. Of course, melee weapons, in turn, pale in comparison to any good launcher at the moment...
Punk looks bad but the acid brand does 2d4 extra damage so that's pretty good.
Dark maul, since being buffed, is just the best melee weapon in the game in terms of damage, and by extension overall. Barring absurd amounts of slaying, of course.
Skullcrusher now has the best base type in its category (GSC is worse), the best or possibly second-best brand (after antimagic), and the str buff makes up for the low enchantment in any practical situation due to the high base damage. It is an outstanding weapon.
Wyrmbane does amazing damage with a very low base delay, easily making up for the lack of a meaningful brand. Saving shadow/golden/iron/bone dragons for the last few points of enchantment is annoying though.
Leech is basically "here's what it'd be like if vamp was great"; ditching the 40% failure chance ditches the biggest problem with the brand (and increases the mean healing by 2/3rds), and the base type and enchantment are good too. The AC/EV penalty is essentially flavour.
Wrath of Trog has the correct base type for an axe, good enchantment, and one of the best brands in the game. It also gives you berserk almost on demand. Trog gifts will likely give you something better, but if you're a non-Trog axe character it is unlikely you will find anything that beats it.
Glaive of the Guard is like Wrath of Trog.
Firestarter might look like a funny noisy axe at first glance since its gimmick is only good against multiple monsters. The trick is that unlike cleaving, there's no constraint that all the affected monsters have to be adjacent, or even in LOS. With a corner, or especially a Fo style killhole, you get to kill a monster, and when the next monster comes into LOS it's already taken 3d15/3d20/3d25 damage.
Arga also has a correct base type for an axe, good enchantment, and one of the best brands in the game.
Bloodbane is like Wrath of Trog but with an unexciting brand.
Scythe of Curses is a real pain to use, but using it also means running around with an army of allied reapers, shadows, and soul eaters. That's not bad.
Autumn katana is just a better demon blade and a Clar swap (please dont put Clar on weapon its dumb)
Frostbite, Prune are just big damage, nothing more to say about them.
Plutonium sword took a nose dive when transmutation miscasts were changed (no more confusing monsters) and then got its enchantment nerfed again. It is not the best weapon in the game anymore, just the best triple sword.
Spellbinder is a good base type with a great brand, but could have better enchantment, and miscasts on many monsters are liable to be worse for you than they are for the monsters - think explosions and twisters. Expect to have some of xp, piety, and even items (banishment) stolen.]
Gyre and Gimble is entirely about abusing slaying. Without slaying it is bad, like all other short blades. With lots of slaying it is absurd.

Other:
Black Knight's horse barding, Lear's hauberk, Maxwell's patent armour, cloak of Starlight, hat of the Bear Spirit, shield of Ignorance, lightning scales, orange crystal plate armour, boots of the Assassin, gauntlets of War, robe of Folly, scales of the Dragon King, shield of Resistance, warlock's mirror, macabre finger necklace, necklace of Bloodlust, ring of Phasing, ring of Robustness, ring of the Mage, wizardry ring of the Octopus King

Boots of the Assassin are here because of monster detection, the stabbing bonus isn't really useful.

Not great, but narrowly useful
Weapons:
Eos > Snakebite > obsidian axe > Sword of Zonguldrok > Devastator > mace of Variability > Maxwell's thermic engine > Lajatang of Order > Undeadhunter > zealot's sword > Elemental Staff > Staff of Olgreb > Wucad Mu > Majin-Bo

Obsidian axe can be unwielded as many times as you can remove the curse, so it's not going to kill you but you should stop using it when you run out of remove curse, and you likely will because being unable to move away from monsters is a pretty big problem. Its biggest use is to cure confusion.
Devastator's "shatter" damage is based on the damage you did with the melee attack, which is low unless you have lots of slaying, because its base type is crap. It's also 15 noise and sucks against anything Shatter-resistant.
Mace of Variability is stupid.
Thermic engine has the same mean damage as a speed weapon but with more variance, unless your opponent has rC or rF in which case it's worse. It takes too long for the enchantment to increase and it decays even while you are hitting things with it, so in practice its enchantment hovers pretty low. This leaves it comparing poorly to a well-enchanted demon blade of flaming or freezing. Also, putting resistances on weapons is stupid please stop doing it
Order's brand works against exactly one remotely relevant monster (orb of fire) unless you find it on D:7 in which case it's good against two remotely relevant monsters (orb of fire, ugly thing). Still, being able to swap to rMut is very occasionally convenient and a +7 unbranded lajatang is still a +7 lajatang.
Undeadhunter's disruption brand basically exists as an in-joke. As far as gameplay goes it's like a "stronger" version of holy wrath that only works on undead...in other words, it's like having no brand 99% of the time. Better to have a great mace with a real brand, but if you're a maces character it is something you'll carry to swap to for liches.
Elemental Staff is just a resistance swap, melee with it is bad and AC+5 isn't as good as an enhancer.
Staff of Olgreb would be a tier lower if not for the silly fact that it gives you poison immunity while wielded, so it's slightly useful for anyone who doesn't already have poison immunity.
Since I maintain that running out of MP isn't a problem outside of early D and zigs, I don't think Wucad Mu is very good.
Majin-Bo's HP cost really hurts its viability to the point that it is basically only useful if you swap it, which is made difficult by vamp if you're not undead. It's awful as a melee weapon.

Other:
Kryia's mail coat, Crown of Dyrovepreva, hat of Pondering, hat of the Alchemist, mask of the Dragon, moon troll leather armour, fencer's gloves, ratskin cloak, shield of the Gong (wish it still had Spirit...), amulet of Vitality, amulet of the Air, amulet of the Four Winds, brooch of Shielding, ring of Shadows, non-wizardry rings of the Octopus King

Only good if you find them pre-Lair or so
Weapons:
Finisher > Morg > Arc blade > Captain's cutlass > Singing Sword > Spriggan's Knife > Trident of the Octopus King > Sceptre of Torment

Morg is a pain weapon with 5 min delay. It is obviously inferior to an enhancer staff as a stat stick though.
Arc blade can be good for getting Uskayaw piety, unfortunately the discharge only occurs on one of three hits so the damage isn't very good compared to the actual Static Discharge spell. Plus, damaging yourself is bad.
Captain's cutlass is good for a rapier, but it's still a rapier. It is not normally worth swapping to it to disarm something, nor is disarm meaningful enough to make it a great weapon.
Singing Sword is an unbranded +7 double sword that makes 15 to 35 noise while monsters are on the screen. The sonic damage is both infrequent and laughably low, to the point of complete irrelevance.
Spriggan's Knife is a poor weapon and a poor stat stick.
Sceptre of Torment is obviously useless if you aren't undead, and if you are undead it's worse than just casting Agony.

Other:
robe of Augmentation, robe of Vines, salamander hide armour

Always useless
Weapons:
Vampire's Tooth

Vampire's Tooth is comically bad at damaging things (+4 unbranded dagger) which means it is also bad at healing you, especially since the vampiric nerf applied to it too. It does give you about twice the HP from stabs compared to a normal vampiric dagger, but let's be honest, does that ever matter?

Other:
robe of Clouds, robe of Misfortune, skin of Zhor


Ds mutations
Spoiler: show
Scales facets: Rough black > iridescent > brown > repulsion > molten > icy/yellow/green/metallic > bone plates > thin skeletal structure > sturdy frame > sanguine armour
Slot facets: antennae >>> claws > hooves > talons > horns
Tier 2 facets: nightstalker >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> magic shield >>> demonic guardian > ice > rot > pbd > spiny > pbp > fire
Tier 3 facets: robust >>> augmentation > fire >>> negative energy/ice

For scales, more AC is better, except RMsl is also really good. Sanguine armour doesn't activate early enough to be worth anything.

Antennae provide monster detection which is pretty busted, and better than the extra damage the other body slot mutations offer. Claws take unarmed from the worst melee option to the best melee option, and they appear early enough that it's good to switch, so they're better than the others. Hooves simply do more damage than talons which simply do more damage than horns.

Nightstalker is utterly broken and is better than robust 3. Late game it is better than all other Ds mutations put together.

Robust and augmentation do something before level 3, which automatically makes them better than the other tier 3 facets. Fire only does something once it reaches level 3, and while damnation is genuinely really good it is better to get something at XL18 rather than XL26. Negative energy and tier 3 ice facet do nothing even at level 3.


Jazz Jackrabbit 2 music
Spoiler: show
Top tier: Labrat, Colony, Boss2, Tubelec, Freeze, Dang, Haunted, City1g, Order
High tier: Castle, Carrotus, Funkyg, Hell, Jungle, Medivo2, Ending
Low tier: Boss1, Water, Beach, Easter, Fasttrack, Bonus2
Bottom tier: Intro, Menu, Diamond, Whare, Bonus3, Sugar Rush


Videos of people getting hurt


Spells
Spoiler: show
Broken
animate skeleton, sticks to snakes, swiftness, spectral weapon, animate dead, control undead, conjure ball lightning, simulacrum

A little less broken but definitely OP
apportation, beastly appendage, confusing touch, freeze, summon butterflies, portal projectile, conjure flame, ozocubu's armour, spider form, vampiric draining, cause fear, passage of golubria, sticky flame, summon lightning spire, agony, blade hands, lee's rapid deconstruction, lightning bolt, summon forest, darkness, deflect missiles, freezing cloud, invisibility, malign gateway, death's door

Really good
infusion, pain, sandblast, shock, summon small mammal, call imp, corpse rot, ensorcelled hibernation, shroud of golubria, call canine familiar, confuse, mephitic cloud, poisonous vapours, static discharge, airstrike, ice form, leda's liquefaction, summon ice beast, excruciating wounds, fireball, iskenderun's battlesphere, summon demon, summon mana viper, shadow creatures, haunt, monstrous menagerie, summon hydra, borgnjor's revivification, summon horrible things

Good
corona, flame tongue, magic dart, sting, blink, passwall, searing ray, slow, sublimation of blood, throw flame, throw frost, dazzling spray, recall, regeneration, stone arrow, teleport other, tukima's dance, fulminant prism, olgreb's toxic radiance, petrify, throw icicle, aura of abjuration (only for summoners, useless for other characters), bolt of draining, dispel undead, metabolic englaciation, yara's violent unravelling, bolt of cold, bolt of fire, death channel, hydra form, iron shot, poison arrow, statue form, dragon form, orb of destruction, spellforged servitor, summon greater demon, controlled blink, infestation, shatter, fire storm

Bad
ignite poison, lesser beckoning, force lance, iskenderun's mystic blast, summon guardian golem, bolt of magma, irradiate, silence, venom bolt, dispersal, ozocubu's refrigeration, chain lightning, discord, disjunction, ignition, lehudib's crystal spear, dragon's call, tornado

Useless
song of slaying, gell's gravitas, inner flame, alistair's intoxication, cigotuvi's embrace, ring of flames, necromutation, glaciate
Last edited by duvessa on Friday, 12th January 2018, 17:30, edited 11 times in total.

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Post Sunday, 25th June 2017, 23:28

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Ranking Fe in later game is a pointless exercise because with Statue Form it's a tabfest, otherwise a pain.
Spellcasting penalties, Armour skill, and strength
15 runes: 2x HuSk, Op(Mo,Tm,Wn,Fi,Wr,EE,AM,Wz,Ne), VSTm, DsTm, Dg(Sk,Tm), MuGl, GhMo, Fe(En,EE,Ar,Wn,IE)
3 runes: FoFi, OgSk, KoHu, SpCj, 2x DgGl, MiBe, Fe(Fi,Tm,Mo,Su)

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 00:08

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Giving an well-defined total order to the set of species/gods/backgrounds of this game is pretty meaningless and impossible effort because judging something can be completely different by situations and luck

e.g.) Nemelex can ruin your game by giving hostile twister nearby you by the very first draw of deck of destruction in L:1
Last edited by papilio on Monday, 26th June 2017, 01:20, edited 1 time in total.
http://crawl.akrasiac.org/scoring/players/papilio.html

Done 15-rune wins with all playable species, backgrounds, gods!

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 00:28

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Respect for offering unironic opinion in an age of irony.
*Lana Del Rey voice* , video games...

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 01:23

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Some of the things you mention seem to indicate for overall "best" you rate the early game (much?) harder than the later game, it'd probably help to orient people if you rated the parts of the game by difficulty, as players may have different experiences of game difficulty at different times, and things that help for the for one part of game might not matter as much to someone who finds one part of the game easier or harder relative to the rest of it than you do.

For example, I use "percentage of games that made it to that level who died" as a rough indicator of how difficult I find that level on average.

For me on my current machine that looks like this:
Image
it's a pretty rough analogue, as this machine is fairly new and I don't have as many games played on it as I did on some of my older ones, but I've done this before and the trend is similar for my games. Note also I play a fair number of my games "sloppily" without dedicatedly optimizing for wins when it would involve a lot of tedium (for example I autoexplore a fair amount)
Spoiler: show
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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 01:32

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

duvessa wrote:Gozag's inability to use zombies/skeletons

This is peanuts. Actually big problem about Gozag is almost entire absence of dragon scales and mutagenic chunks. Also, player has no control neither over proposed shop types nor their contents. It may either give endgame weapon on d:6, or produce 4 pointless shops with nothing particularly useful. And even looking at source code gives no idea about exact chances to get shops you want and nice items in them.
duvessa wrote:Nemelex Xobeh, too, gives you a deck gift almost immediately after you start worshipping (like, within 10 moves).

If only cards were useful, and not something in lines of "thunder donut of logistical impropriety and noise"
duvessa wrote:In fact, if there's one best god I think it's probably Nemelex now

51/3012 games for * (recent trunk god=Nemelex lair:6): 51/3012x Nemelex Xobeh [1.69%]
103/5978 games for * (recent trunk god=Qazlal lair:6): 103/5978x Qazlal [1.72%]
duvessa wrote:Makhleb is fantastic at high piety but not so much at low piety.

Makhleb's strongest point is Minor Servant. It's available at *** piery, requires nominal training in invocations, and it produces summons that can plow through everything in first 2 rune branches.
duvessa wrote:so Xom isn't providing any benefit, just potentially screwing things up by randomly paralysing you.

If only.
Spoiler: show
67936 | Tomb:2 | XOM: cast spell 'Hydra Form'
Last edited by Lavandula on Monday, 26th June 2017, 01:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 01:39

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Dragon scales are nowhere near as good as zombies. They're not even normally worth using because you're likely to find like, +3 chain or something before you get dragon scales... and then the dragon scales will be +0 once you eventually do find them.

WRT shop RNG, it's true, but strongest aspect of Gozag is potion petition not shops so it's not that big of a deal.
Lavandula wrote:51/3012 games for * (recent trunk god=Nemelex lair:6): 51/3012x Nemelex Xobeh [1.69%]
103/5978 games for * (recent trunk god=Qazlal lair:6): 103/5978x Qazlal [1.72%]
Low winrate of Nemelex is because the vast majority of the players do not understand all the varying powers, and low popularity is due to that plus inventory hassle.

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 03:16

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Here's my hot take on the gods debate
Spoiler: show
Image
Remove spell hunger.

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 05:10

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Imo your x axis is pretty much right on, but your y axis is a little screwy.

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 12:03

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

I'm sure that these tier lists are for a handful of top players. They have absolutely nothing to do with the experience of average players. (By "average", I mean anyone between 1 and 100 wins). Just notice expressions like "free streak" and several others along those lines.

To me, these lists make zero sense, even though I am really trying to take them with a grain of salt.

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 14:14

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

While some of jokes are only for the "top players" and maybe some of the most cryptic or elite considerations,I don't understand how the most part of the information presented in these lists is incomprensibile for a average player with a normal knowdglee of the game.

I mean, "I'm pretty sure my cat could consistently reach Lair with DD" is probably a joke that is gonna make laugh only "top player", but why a "average player" shouldn't understand that pre-Lair DD >> everyone else because free heal wounds gives pseudo invulnerability?
screw it I hate this character I'm gonna go melee Gastronok

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 14:20

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

I believe "the top players approach" here means that OP ignores all normal speed monsters without ranged attacks while in reality gnolls are top-killers in every (or is it almost every?) tournament. Crawl levels are crowded enough so it is impossible to avoid all normal speed monsters.
Also I don't understand how people can rate species, just combos can be compared IMHO. Are you serious in your belief that MiFE has higher survival rate on D:1 than DEFE? Really?
Underestimated: cleaving, Deep Elf, Formicid, Vehumet, EV
Overestimated: AC, GDS
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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 14:30

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

VeryAngryFelid wrote:Are you serious in your belief that MiFE has higher survival rate on D:1 than DEFE? Really?

Of course MiFE has an easier D:1 than DEFE. You can kill pretty much any common D:1 enemy with your aux attacks by just pressing '.' while standing next to them.

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 14:42

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

VeryAngryFelid wrote:I believe "the top players approach" here means that OP ignores all normal speed monsters without ranged attacks while in reality gnolls are top-killers in every (or is it almost every?) tournament. Crawl levels are crowded enough so it is impossible to avoid all normal speed monsters.


Perhaps most players including top one who aren't streaking try to fight D:1/D:2 halberd gnoll, I don't know (at least I often do even knowing that is going to end bad). That still doesn't mean DD is worse than other race on D:1\2
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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 14:47

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Tedronai wrote:
VeryAngryFelid wrote:Are you serious in your belief that MiFE has higher survival rate on D:1 than DEFE? Really?

Of course MiFE has an easier D:1 than DEFE. You can kill pretty much any common D:1 enemy with your aux attacks by just pressing '.' while standing next to them.


Ok, maybe it is a bad example indeed, I am too lazy to check if Mi can kill a pack of Jackals with UC 0 attacks. What about MuFE, DsFE, HaFE, OpFE, VpFE etc?
Dg > Og > VS > HO > Fo > Vp > Fe > Dr > Op > Gr > Fe > Te > Hu > Ha > Ds > Mu > DE


I mean the ranking seems to be based on melee characters who met either an Adder, a pack of Jackals or Kobolds with blowgun while all other monsters and all magic backgrounds are simply ignored.
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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 15:25

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Seems to me that Crawl is overall a series of inconsequential battles interspersed with a handful of deadly ones. So while I'm not qualified to evaluate the particular rankings of the OP, I think it is reasonable to rank species on how well they handle the uncommon dangerous enemies instead of how well they kill popcorn.
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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 15:37

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

MainiacJoe wrote:Seems to me that Crawl is overall a series of inconsequential battles interspersed with a handful of deadly ones. So while I'm not qualified to evaluate the particular rankings of the OP, I think it is reasonable to rank species on how well they handle the uncommon dangerous enemies instead of how well they kill popcorn.

It may also be that the "average across all backgrounds for a given race" may be more heavily weighted towards backgrounds that DE would suffer under, rather than weighted towards the backgrounds in which DE would succeed.

If I rated the D:1 power level for DE from 1-10 it might look like:
DEFi: 1
DEGl: 1
DEHu: 3
DEMo: -1
...
DEFE: 8

and I could well see that the average across all backgrounds for DE might be lower than the average for say, Vp, when you figure in all the backgrounds, not just the ones for which the race is particularly suited.

If you picked a random background, DE is probably the least suited toward adapting to the starting kit of many backgrounds (in particular anything that demands they get into melee)
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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 15:43

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

VeryAngryFelid wrote:I believe "the top players approach" here means that OP ignores all normal speed monsters without ranged attacks while in reality gnolls are top-killers in every (or is it almost every?) tournament. Crawl levels are crowded enough so it is impossible to avoid all normal speed monsters.


Gnolls do have a ranged attack, it's called net. They can also spawn on D:1 where there is nowhere to run to.

They are the exception and not the rule; ogres and hydras fall flat as melee monsters because you have a safe place to retreat to by the time they start spawning.

Also, this list seems to be assuming the player is going for long-term survival (aka streaking), which implies non-reckless play and sane combo selection given a certain species or background.

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 16:18

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Okay, so I should have been clearer: I have two complaints (the 2 paragraphs I wrote) that might or might not be related. I assumed that they are, but I'm not entirely sure.

Complaint 1: the whole thingy is written in such an elitist fashion that a not-very-patient reader will stop reading before learning anything. A top player, I guess, will agree that Crawl is easy and you should streak easily unless you are a complete idiot, so I assumed they are the target audience.

Complaint 2: some of the rankings are atrocious. The most glaring one, of course, is placing Fe higher than Gr. Okay, I get the message: if you are really-really good, Fe is better than it looks and Gr is worse r than it looks. Still, ranking Fe higher is a slap to the face of common sense. There are countless others like this: Fo > Dr, Op > DS, Mu > anything. (Even though none of these are that ridiculous).
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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 17:40

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Well, I would argue that Crawl is not a very good game for the non-patient. It's nice to read that yes, streaking is a thing you can do and do reliably with some combos, and that beyond that it's mainly skill. You can argue about various ratings, but overall this looks like a non-surprising list to me.

I've been playing (off and on) for like seven years but only have a half-dozen wins under my belt. Most of my deaths are still bullshit like this one (XL 8 OpIE, killed by and orc warrior with 4 ?blinking and 5 !HW in inventory, I don't even) so I know I'm honestly not good. But a comment that "movespeed 8 + extra lives >> a bunch of AC" from someone I know *is* good means something to me.
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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 17:55

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Hey, speaking of Gnolls, whereabouts would they fall on the list? (I think just as bad/worse than mummies)

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 19:51

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Where are Merfolk on the various species tier lists?

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 20:31

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Remember that you don't have to play to maximize probability of winning every game. In fact, most excellent players do not do that because it's not much fun.

On the other hand, it's unreasonable to suggest duvessa's (or any) tier list should ignore best practices because most people can't be bothered to play that way. Where should we draw the line? "Here's a tier list for players who mash otab until they find the god they preselected before starting the character." This playstyle more closely matches how players actually play, but this is a poor way to judge species/backgrounds' relative strength. The tier list is not a recommendation for new/normal/sane players, and should not be read that way. It is a ranking of strength if the character is played pretty damn carefully. I think it's substantially better to try to account for all of the best strategies and tactics rather than artificially limiting consideration to those conducts which reasonable or average players might employ. For example, do "normal" players learn to abuse energy randomization before they understand the power/XP-cost of various skills? I have no idea; no one does! Making a tier list for normal players is totally intractable.

I would also commend duvessa for avoiding another pitfall that sometimes afflicts tier lists. There is no mention of "hypothetical optimal play". The ranking is based on known, achievable (if annoying to implement) techniques. Obviously none of us understands what's actually optimal (even ignoring stuff like tracking pRNG states and whatnot) but I think duvessa's understanding is probably a pretty good approximation, so I suspect there shouldn't be any major changes to what's in the OP*.

*Except for the omission of Mf from lists 2-4

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 21:29

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Magipi wrote:Okay, so I should have been clearer: I have two complaints (the 2 paragraphs I wrote) that might or might not be related. I assumed that they are, but I'm not entirely sure.

Complaint 1: the whole thingy is written in such an elitist fashion that a not-very-patient reader will stop reading before learning anything. A top player, I guess, will agree that Crawl is easy and you should streak easily unless you are a complete idiot, so I assumed they are the target audience.

Complaint 2: some of the rankings are atrocious. The most glaring one, of course, is placing Fe higher than Gr. Okay, I get the message: if you are really-really good, Fe is better than it looks and Gr is worse r than it looks. Still, ranking Fe higher is a slap to the face of common sense. There are countless others like this: Fo > Dr, Op > DS, Mu > anything. (Even though none of these are that ridiculous).


1. This is the least elitist thing duvessa has ever written tbh. All of the points are based off of consistent principles- the more innate tools you have to survive the early game, based on reasonably smart play, the better the character. The changing of the tiers at various points of the game is pretty good evidence of this. This post isn't aggressive "extended 2 ez" stuff, it's basically "how likely is this X to get killed out of the blue."

2. Defend thy points. I for one do WAY better on average with Nagas than most other classes because I play a lot less stupid. Does this mean they are better? Probably not. Do I also do way better with DS than with Op? Yup. But none of duvessas explanations seem wrong to me.
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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 21:42

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

That was an interesting read. I wonder where you would place High Elf on the species list (between Ha and DE I suspect) and where Demigod would be placed, if their stats was a god choice. I also wonder if you would had changed the placement of VM and AE before their book changes.

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 21:46

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

cerealjynx wrote:Hey, speaking of Gnolls, whereabouts would they fall on the list? (I think just as bad/worse than mummies)
I didn't include gnolls or WJC because they change every five minutes. If you're talking about the normal stats, high-apt version of Gnoll, then it's in the better-than-human tier.

Mf escaping was a mistake, thanks for alerting me.

Regarding the whole elitism thing, I am clearly not a top player by any stretch of the imagination, so it's more likely that I'm just bad at communicating.
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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 21:53

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Magipi wrote:Complaint 1: the whole thingy is written in such an elitist fashion that a not-very-patient reader will stop reading before learning anything. A top player, I guess, will agree that Crawl is easy and you should streak easily unless you are a complete idiot, so I assumed they are the target audience.

Can we maybe not argue about people's tone when ranking video game characters? Obviously, it's totally cool to argue about the actual ranking. I assume that's the main reason why lists like this get made in the first place. But let's stick to the content and not the diction so long as people aren't being insulting.

fakeedit: 2slow, but the point stands.

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 21:56

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Magipi wrote:Okay, so I should have been clearer: I have two complaints (the 2 paragraphs I wrote) that might or might not be related. I assumed that they are, but I'm not entirely sure.

Complaint 1: the whole thingy is written in such an elitist fashion that a not-very-patient reader will stop reading before learning anything. A top player, I guess, will agree that Crawl is easy and you should streak easily unless you are a complete idiot, so I assumed they are the target audience.

Complaint 2: some of the rankings are atrocious. The most glaring one, of course, is placing Fe higher than Gr. Okay, I get the message: if you are really-really good, Fe is better than it looks and Gr is worse r than it looks. Still, ranking Fe higher is a slap to the face of common sense. There are countless others like this: Fo > Dr, Op > DS, Mu > anything. (Even though none of these are that ridiculous).

An analogous example is a chess position which is said to be "won with perfect play". Nobody is perfect, but making the perfect play assumption makes the question much more tractable. With chess engines, one can set their playing strength and then look at their evaluation, but there's no DCSS engine yet (at least no general purpose one, leaving aside bots like qw). So you work with what you've got. In economics assumptions of rationality and "perfect competition" are/were used for similar reasons.

Anecdotally my winrate with Fe is much better than Gr. I have only played Fe a few times, because I can't stand it.

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 21:58

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Fe literally has extra lives it's arguably the most mistake-tolerant thing in the game

Obviously everyone including me hates playing the species, but that doesn't make it any less strong
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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 22:01

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

as long as we're being unironic in this thread, I have a confession: I like playing Fe, it's probably my most played species offline.

I also like summoners though so my taste is questionable at best.

e: I even especially like FeSu!! Send help.

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 22:05

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

n1000 wrote:Remember that you don't have to play to maximize probability of winning every game. In fact, most excellent players do not do that because it's not much fun.

On the other hand, it's unreasonable to suggest duvessa's (or any) tier list should ignore best practices because most people can't be bothered to play that way. Where should we draw the line? "Here's a tier list for players who mash otab until they find the god they preselected before starting the character." This playstyle more closely matches how players actually play, but this is a poor way to judge species/backgrounds' relative strength. The tier list is not a recommendation for new/normal/sane players, and should not be read that way. It is a ranking of strength if the character is played pretty damn carefully. I think it's substantially better to try to account for all of the best strategies and tactics rather than artificially limiting consideration to those conducts which reasonable or average players might employ. For example, do "normal" players learn to abuse energy randomization before they understand the power/XP-cost of various skills? I have no idea; no one does! Making a tier list for normal players is totally intractable.

I would also commend duvessa for avoiding another pitfall that sometimes afflicts tier lists. There is no mention of "hypothetical optimal play". The ranking is based on known, achievable (if annoying to implement) techniques. Obviously none of us understands what's actually optimal (even ignoring stuff like tracking pRNG states and whatnot) but I think duvessa's understanding is probably a pretty good approximation, so I suspect there shouldn't be any major changes to what's in the OP*.

*Except for the omission of Mf from lists 2-4


Even allowing this, I don't think duvessa's tier lists are accurate, and in general it's very wishful thinking to believe "there shouldn't be any major changes" because "their assessments are a pretty good approximation" when looking at just about anyone's lists. DrKe is a stronger player and has a rankings that are significantly different from this list in a number of ways. I'm quite sure if we could get elliptic to sit down to make these lists, they would not agree with duvessa's. It's not that duvessa's list is brimming with misinformation or anything, but there's a tendency to conflate things that are annoying to them with things being "not useful", as well as a tendency to dwell on how strong some things are while ignoring how strong others are. If you have 3 MMP on D:1, I definitely don't think that 3 casts of flame tongue is as good as 3 casts of spammals when the summons are used correctly, for instance.

Whether or not you agree with my general assessment above, I would caution anyone against believing that lists like these "must be correct" because someone tried to make them from the standpoint playing very carefully. Even very experienced players have a biases based on what they have played the most, which is influenced by what they have enjoyed playing and how some relatively strong/broken thing felt in "that one run I did".

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 22:09

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

That was an interesting read, thanks for putting in the effort despite it not being very efficient in terms of thankscumming. I was happy to see Fe above Mi even though i don't agree with that at all. Truly, felid is the master race.
Does the whole "lategame is trivial" concept still hold true in the world with no yellow wands though?
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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 22:12

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Now there's Fe twice in the D:1 list. I assume the second Fe should be the missing Mf?
HOFEMDHeHuReMDHuHOCjDsHuNaCjHuHuSENeGEFEMDBeDDFiHOWzVpVMHuEEHEMoDEHuDDAsHaBeKoAK
CeVMMfWnMiAKTeAMDrIEFoVMVSFiMuVMGhGlVpMoHaWrSpWzOgGlTrMoCeWnMfBeMiSkDrEEGrFiFoGlDgEnFeNe
OpGlHuSuDDArHaCKSpAEGrTmDgFEDsCjGhMoHuVMHaAMBaEnHuMoHOWnDsWzDDHuDgWnGnBeFeIEMiEnMfCj

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 22:24

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

duvessa wrote:Fe literally has extra lives it's arguably the most mistake-tolerant thing in the game

Obviously everyone including me hates playing the species, but that doesn't make it any less strong


Yeah, Fe has extra lives, except in D:1, where you'll be one-shot by pretty much everything (-40% hp rocks).

Even much later, when you think you are okay.... you'll be one-shot by a random fire giant, resurrected somewhere on the level with even less HP, with the same fire giant lurking around somewhere.

Compared to this, Gr is probably the second most powerful species in the game (behind DD), except in extended, where Gr is number 1. (Gr has some torment resist while DD is pretty vulnerable in torment-heavy areas like Tomb or the Hell end floors).

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 23:27

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

gammafunk: good point. I should've been more careful with what I wrote, and taken a more moderate position. I wrapped up that post hastily in order to get out the door. I should either retract the last sentence or revise it to say something like, "shouldn't be any major changes if you accept duvessa's ideas about the strongest way to play "

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 23:29

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Magipi wrote:Compared to this, Gr is probably the second most powerful species in the game (behind DD), except in extended, where Gr is number 1. (Gr has some torment resist while DD is pretty vulnerable in torment-heavy areas like Tomb or the Hell end floors).


do you actually think Gr is the 2nd most or most powerful species across the board, or are you just comparing it to felid

trying to wrap my head around this

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 23:35

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

duvessa wrote:Fe literally has extra lives it's arguably the most mistake-tolerant thing in the game


When I make a mistake with a normal race I lose half my hp and have to run away and/or use consumables. I do this dozens of times per game.

When I make a mistake with felid I lose one of the extra lives.

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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 00:05

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

duvessa wrote:+2 accuracy and 12 base damage is insane for the first few dungeon levels.

Whoa, when did hand crossbows get buffed to 12? I was pretty sure they got added at 10.

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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 00:21

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

I'm a bit surprised you rate Barachi so low. I haven't played that many of them, but never lost one. They strike me as similar to human in power level.
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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 00:24

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Lasty wrote:
duvessa wrote:+2 accuracy and 12 base damage is insane for the first few dungeon levels.

Whoa, when did hand crossbows get buffed to 12? I was pretty sure they got added at 10.
Looks to me like they were added at 11 and
buffed to 12.

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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 00:29

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Overall I rather liked the lists. I actually agree that naga is probably the worst race (when you are considering early game/winrate oriented appraisals). I do think it could be moved up a bit higher in the lair+ and extended rankings, but duvessa did move it up several ranks for each of those, so it's more or less in the right direction.

I'd really like to see nagas get constriction back at level 1; it made them worth playing, but oh well.

Likewise I can also agree that chei is terrible from an early game/streaking perspective, but I do think it should be moved up considerably on the "after 6*" list. By that point having +15 to all stats is simply huge, and if you've had the time to pick up some invocations training, chei's abilities are significantly stronger than many of those gods. Likewise on the extended tier list, would you rather have Yred or Chei? Sif Muna I could maybe see someone arguing for, but I'd say chei is considerably above both of them at least. In extended Sif is only a useful channel - you aren't miscasting and you don't need any more spell books. Yred's minions are dead and gone. Chei provides real power in exchange for your movement speed...

And as a final noteworthy thing: "At this point Ru is constantly, passively reducing all hostile monsters' effective speed and damage" is hitting the nail on the head. Ru's aura is just so incredibly powerful and lets you escape from nearly anything as they randomly waste turns. Ru is just really, really good. And then if you are in a tough spot you basically have 3 options for active abilities to get out of it, too.

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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 02:23

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

tasonir wrote:Likewise on the extended tier list, would you rather have Yred or Chei?
Yred
that's like...exactly what the list means

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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 03:32

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 04:17

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Cat-themed image macros on a Web forum. Did I take a wrong turn and stumble into 2005?
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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 04:35

duvessa wrote:I seriously wonder why I hear so little about how astonishingly bad nagas are.

I'll give you one reason.

!gamesby Turgon Na
  Code:
Turgon (Na) has played 5 games, between 2012-03-14 [...] and 2014-01-06 [..], won 0, high score 24212 [...]

Although I always thought they were an interesting species (rPois, spit poison, sInv) I just didn't like them because of slow movement.

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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 06:40

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Maybe that's because probably you like to play melee characters? Naga is amazing with mage backgrounds, it has good magic aptitudes AND poison spit AND high HP. It sucks as NaEn indeed though.

  Code:
<Sandman25> !gamesby Sandman25 Na !NaEn
<Sequell> Sandman25 (Na !NaEn) has played 4 games, between 2014-06-14 01:04:59 and 2015-10-09 12:16:54, won 2 (50.0%), high score 10012987, total score 13009652, total turns 380824, play-time/day 0:07:23, total time 2d+11:33:20.


One of those 2 Nagas died in Zig.

  Code:
<Sequell> Sandman25 (NaEn) has played 5 games, between 2014-02-22 13:40:31 and 2014-02-28 13:13:39, won 1 (20.0%), high score 1590726, total score 1814989, total turns 199591, play-time/day 4:40:35, total time 1d+8:44:06.


All 4 died before Lair:$.
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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 08:21

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

Well, I like playing Fe, although not extended unless it's got all the spells. The main reason is that inventory management is my least favorite thing about Crawl, and Fe makes that much, much easier.

I know, I know, I could play any race and just leave all the stuff on the floor, BUT MY BRAIN WON'T LET ME!

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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 09:09

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

AM and Hu are a lot like Ar but with a hand crossbow instead of wands. +2 accuracy and 12 base damage is insane for the first few dungeon levels. However, Hu is left in an awkward situation when it inevitably runs out of bolts, whereas AM can lean on Slow and Cause Fear. (Hu's short sword and extra launcher skill is overkill, since even a 0 skill hand crossbow kills any D:1 monster easily.)


i like starting with a sling (as long as the aptitudes support it) to avoid this scenario. sure, it's not quite as strong but i find it's generally strong enough to carry you to the point where the exp needed to transition into something heavier is not a problem, and there's roughly infinite ammo lying around. interesting that you seem to think crossbows is a no brainer here.

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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 09:52

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

If you pick the hunting sling then you get a sling and 20 bullets, and when the bullets run out, you have a sling with stones.
If you pick the hand crossbow then you get a hand crossbow and 20 bolts, and when the bolts run out, you still almost certainly have a sling with stones, because hunting slings are as common as spears/maces/hand axes/etc. on the ground, and goblins also get them.

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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 09:54

Re: duvessa's unironic tier lists

The difference between crossbows and slung stones is pretty substantial. On D:2 it can be the difference between killing an Adder or starting over, especially for squisher species that don't have great ranged aptitudes.
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