Skill dancing: advice on skill management


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Dungeon Dilettante

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Joined: Tuesday, 3rd May 2011, 19:49

Post Tuesday, 3rd May 2011, 20:07

Skill dancing: advice on skill management

Crawlers,

I've been playing Crawl for a while now, but realized upon discovering the Tavern that I've been at it plug-and-play style. I'm clearly not mindful enough of my skills and skill development, and would love some pointers to help me understand the principles of skill management.

Particularly, knowing what skills to emphasize, when to turn them on/off, and how to develop key skills would be helpful. Offering some insight into how experienced players 'see' skills as they play through a game would be particularly interesting.

If it helps, I generally play dorf fighter or spriggan stalker.

Thanks!

Vaults Vanquisher

Posts: 494

Joined: Friday, 11th February 2011, 17:13

Post Tuesday, 3rd May 2011, 20:46

Re: Skill dancing: advice on skill management

Here are a few key tidbits. I am sure more experienced players will provide you with more nuance.

Dorf:

FIGHTING (never turn this off, ever, on any character, unless you are saving exp to victory dance a specific skill for a specific purpose).
Weapon of choice- leave this skill on until you get to the minimum delay
Dodging- turn this off.
Armor- keep this on
Shields- shield skill is relevant in the following 3 increments 7/15/21, for buckler, shield, large shield for a dorf. If you plan to stop at a buckler (not that you should), 7 is enough, 15 is fine for a regular shield...

Spriggan:

Fighting- absolutely keep this on.
Stealth- this is your bread and butter
Weapon skill- probably going to be small blades, keep it on to the minimum delay, which is probably less than 10 or so.
Stabbing- you love stabbing, stabber. Keep it on.
Spellcasting- if you're going to cast spells at all, you want this skill. It lowers food cost, which is HUGE for a sprigs, and increases mp.
Hexes- i might leave this off once you get your spells castable reliably. Turn it back on once the food cost is gone.

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hooligan
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Vestibule Violator

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Location: New England

Post Tuesday, 3rd May 2011, 20:51

Re: Skill dancing: advice on skill management

Here's some stuff about general skill training pulled from the small questions thread (better to have this stuff sorted I think)

mageykun wrote:Well, here's my ideas on skill training. May not be perfect, as there were some changes to xp distribution when you turn skills on/off in trunk.

Fighting: if you start without a level in it, train up level 1 as soon as reasonably possible. Leave it on all game, regardless of role. If you're a primary caster, train fighting for hp by meleing popcorn. If you're a mele fighter, don't worry, it'll do fine on it's own.

Primary mele weapon skill: train up until you hit minimum delay. Then turn it off the rest off the game. Maybe turn it back on in Zot, when you get more xp than you know what to do with. If you're a primary caster, you may be able to get away with turning it off immediately.

Secondary ranged weapon: train up to min delay, then off. Possibly delay and turn it off in the early game before, when you need the xp in other places. It's very easy to train ranged weapon skills, as they can be victory danced.

Throwing: turn it off immediately. Never get it, if possible. Unless you're relying on blowdarts, or throwing large rocks, it's a useless waste of xp. Worse, under Oka and Trog it nets you useless dart gifts.

Stealth: Unless you stink at it (heavy armor, horrible aptitudes), or are bound to TSO conduct, leave it on all game. Not being noticed is useful to all roles- even if it doesn't necessarily net you stabs, not being noticed can save your life many times over.

Evasion: if you're playing an evasion build, leave it on all game, except when you're training shields. Then turn it off until you get shields past the level where penalties disappear. If you're playing an AC build, probably turn it off right away.

Shields: If you're using a shield, keep the skill on all game. Be sure to victory dance to the point where the shield penalties stop (check the bots- varies with species size and shield type).

Armor: I've yet to play a good heavy armor character. Not really sure what to do with this one. If you get it, I'd leave it on. If you don't, don't worry about it.

Traps and doors: leave it on all game.

Spellcasting: If you're a caster, or mele hybrid, train this like crazy. Unless you have an immediate, pressing need elsewhere, victory dance all spare xp into spellcasting. It gives you more spell slots, cuts down on spell hunger, and increases spell power. Very important.

Spell schools: mostly, I leave them on and victory dance them till the associated spells are at excellent. After than you can safely turn them off- further training will only improve power, and eventually get you to perfect, but spellcasting does that too. If you do most your damage with spells though, you want to leave your damage dealing schools on. You want as much spell power as you can get.

Invocations: Depends on the build and God. Some gods don't even use it (Trog, Nemelex). Some Gods you want to train invocations just until skills are at excellent (Lucy). A few though you want to leave on forever, because their abilities get more and more powerful as invocs scale (TSO).

Evocations: leave it on all game, unless you really need to dump the xp elsewhere. Never hurts, and can be downright useful at times.


minmay wrote:
mageykun wrote:Throwing: turn it off immediately. Never get it, if possible. Unless you're relying on blowdarts, or throwing large rocks, it's a useless waste of xp. Worse, under Oka and Trog it nets you useless dart gifts.

Throwing is just fine even if you're not using blowguns. Javelins are great throughout the game. Like you said, though, only train it with a gifting god if you're using blowguns.

I also wouldn't leave Dodging on all the time (in particular you might want extra experience for spellcasting skills in the early game).


Jeremiah wrote:
minmay wrote:
mageykun wrote:Throwing: turn it off immediately. Never get it, if possible. Unless you're relying on blowdarts, or throwing large rocks, it's a useless waste of xp. Worse, under Oka and Trog it nets you useless dart gifts.

Throwing is just fine even if you're not using blowguns. Javelins are great throughout the game. Like you said, though, only train it with a gifting god if you're using blowguns.

I also wouldn't leave Dodging on all the time (in particular you might want extra experience for spellcasting skills in the early game).



The other problem with throwing is that javelins are pretty heavy, which means that steel javelins weigh a TON. It's probably only worth getting high levels of throwing if you are already putting most of your stat gain into str, otherwise you will only be able to carry 3-4 without being encumbered. Of course it helps if you can throw large rocks too.

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hooligan
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Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 3rd May 2011, 22:59

Re: Skill dancing: advice on skill management

as for SpSt, you can turn off stabbing when it's high enough, 14 or so and you can kill anybody with it anyway.

Temple Termagant

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Joined: Friday, 25th February 2011, 16:10

Post Tuesday, 3rd May 2011, 23:07

Re: Skill dancing: advice on skill management

moekitten wrote:as for SpSt, you can turn off stabbing when it's high enough, 14 or so and you can kill anybody with it anyway.


Am I correct in guessing that even though you might instakill anything asleep or paralyzed, continuing to train stabbing will increase the random backstabs while in plain melee?

Mines Malingerer

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Joined: Saturday, 15th January 2011, 18:25

Post Wednesday, 4th May 2011, 00:28

Re: Skill dancing: advice on skill management

Chilly wrote:
moekitten wrote:as for SpSt, you can turn off stabbing when it's high enough, 14 or so and you can kill anybody with it anyway.


Am I correct in guessing that even though you might instakill anything asleep or paralyzed, continuing to train stabbing will increase the random backstabs while in plain melee?


Theres no such thing as backstabs in plain melee. If you mean confusion stabs it does increase the chances but i cant remember the formula and the wiki seems to have the wrong numbers from what i remember.

Abyss Ambulator

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Location: Maryland, USA

Post Wednesday, 4th May 2011, 13:55

Re: Skill dancing: advice on skill management

Keep training it to 14-15 if you're planning to stab with weapons other than short blades, though. (One might ask why, but without good Stealth, the extra time spent switching weapons may allow your target to wake up.)
You fall off the wall. You have a feeling of ineptitude.

Dungeon Dilettante

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Joined: Tuesday, 3rd May 2011, 19:49

Post Wednesday, 4th May 2011, 23:05

Re: Skill dancing: advice on skill management

Thanks for your thoughts, everyone. I'm taking a closer look at skills as I proceed through the game - hope to be able to reach a different plateau, before regularly being demolished in some silly way.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 5th May 2011, 03:16

Re: Skill dancing: advice on skill management

Dorf is a great idea for a race.

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