DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.


Ask fellow adventurers how to stay alive in the deep, dark, dangerous dungeon below, or share your own accumulated wisdom.

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Mines Malingerer

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Post Friday, 31st December 2010, 11:44

DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

I'm getting frustrated with how easy it is to loose a DE character (but I really want to play it).

Most of the time I'm getting killed because I'm overcrowded and running out of MP fast. Sometimes I'm just killed by one powerful enemy -- fast and furious that I'm unable to escape. I was able to get around 15 dungeon levels few times, but it was only when RNG gave me some decent armour protection.

Any tips on how to protect myself?

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Post Friday, 31st December 2010, 15:52

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

The early game is such that unless you find an awesome randart, you will be screwed if you don't plan for certain situations. Situations such as ghosts popping up - do you have a way to kill them? Poison doesn't do much to the undead. Other things, like uniques; namely, Sigmund - if you come across him, you need to have a plan.

Unfortunately sometimes you find these things on floor -two-, so it's not like you have a whole lot of time. Sometimes the RNG just hates you.
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Shoals Surfer

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Post Friday, 31st December 2010, 16:17

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

Raise your fighting skill, buff yourself with enchantments, and learn escape spells.

dpc

Mines Malingerer

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Post Friday, 31st December 2010, 16:20

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

Well, I'm able to deal with early ghosts quite well. Usually being careful I'm able made it to the temple and some levels ahead. Sigmunt is not a problem with Mepthic Cloud.

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Mines Malingerer

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Post Friday, 31st December 2010, 16:23

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

lucy_ferre wrote:buff yourself with enchantments, and learn escape spells.


The only problem is you have to find books that provide that. And escaping spells are no help when you're running out of mana and enemies are everywhere.
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Friday, 31st December 2010, 16:33

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

like szanth and dpc said, you just have to get lucky most of the time-especially on a glass cannon race like deep elves. My experience has been that if I don't find a sweet randart, spellbooks or good shop(s) on the first 6-7 dungeon levels my likelihood of winning plummets.

edit: oh and my high elf paladin just found the Necronomicon on the first level of the hive and I'm still using the crap sword I started with...wtf :evil:.

Since you really want to play DE though, try a different background than VM. VM play MUCH better with spriggan speed to exploit the poison effects. I prefer DE wizards because of the starting MP is high, but you rely more on finding spell books than elementalists or conjurers.
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dpc

Mines Malingerer

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Post Friday, 31st December 2010, 16:47

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

colma wrote:try a different background than VM.


I was advised to switch to VM from Cj on IRC one and I must say -- poison + Meptic Cloud are great. What else should I try?
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Friday, 31st December 2010, 17:21

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

dpc wrote:I was advised to switch to VM from Cj on IRC one and I must say -- poison + Meptic Cloud are great. What else should I try?


I just meant try a different race for VM, not to stop using it (its by far my favorite background). Poison spells lack direct damage punch and rely on the poison effect to kill tough enemies. You can do it with a Deep Elf, but you're playing into the race's weakness by having to wait on enemies to die.
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Lair Larrikin

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Post Friday, 31st December 2010, 19:44

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

I'd try wizards with the book of flame. You have better offense and utility than venom mages get, but you still have Mephitic Cloud. Pretty much every spell in the starting book is good.

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Post Saturday, 1st January 2011, 00:34

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

dpc wrote:
colma wrote:try a different background than VM.


I was advised to switch to VM from Cj on IRC one and I must say -- poison + Meptic Cloud are great. What else should I try?


Keep in mind, a -lot- of the magic backgrounds start with a book that has Meph Cloud in it. It's not like you have to suffer the Venom Mage just for that.

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Post Saturday, 1st January 2011, 02:26

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

Blink is a must-have in the long run.

And personally I've never had, really, any success with shock at all. I know you're supposed to bounce it, but, I mean, you take damage in doing so. Screw that, especially as a glass cannon.

Mines Malingerer

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Post Saturday, 1st January 2011, 05:55

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

szanth wrote:Blink is a must-have in the long run.

And personally I've never had, really, any success with shock at all. I know you're supposed to bounce it, but, I mean, you take damage in doing so. Screw that, especially as a glass cannon.


Once you get a rElec item or the Insulation spell Shock and Lightning bolt becomes hilarious.
Polyphemus throws a large rock.
Your +3 buckler of reflection reflects the large rock!
The large rock hits Polyphemus.
You kill Polyphemus!

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Post Saturday, 1st January 2011, 13:30

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

szanth wrote:
And personally I've never had, really, any success with shock at all. I know you're supposed to bounce it, but, I mean, you take damage in doing so. Screw that, especially as a glass cannon.

How are you bouncing shock if you're hitting yourself?
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Post Saturday, 1st January 2011, 14:00

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

Sealer wrote:
szanth wrote:
And personally I've never had, really, any success with shock at all. I know you're supposed to bounce it, but, I mean, you take damage in doing so. Screw that, especially as a glass cannon.

How are you bouncing shock if you're hitting yourself?


The key is that shock has a fixed range- it can only travel so many squares before it fizzles out. So you have to stand far enough away from a wall so that the monster gets hit coming and going, but the bounce stops short of hitting you. It's also nice to have r-elec, then you can hit yourself with impunity.

The wiki's actually useful here- it has a bunch of diagrams showing all kinds of configurations for getting multiple hits out of shock, some of which aren't so obvious.

http://crawl.chaosforge.org/index.php?title=Multizap

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Post Saturday, 1st January 2011, 14:55

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

-OR- I could just use magic dart.

It costs less MP and I don't have to look at any diagrams to use it, and I'll never kill myself with it.

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Post Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 01:00

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

Why the crap would you try and kill a hydra with shock, either? By the time you find a hydra, you hopefully have something up your sleeve like Meph Cloud or Ice... something.

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Post Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 01:19

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

Meh, I disagree. Even Meph Cloud, which most of the starting magic classes get pretty quickly, would be more effective than shock. Let's not even begin to say how well the conjure flame and sticky flame combo would work, which if you've been moving through the dungeon at a proper pace, you -should- have both by the time you see a hydra.

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Post Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 01:51

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

Sorry to derail, but meph cloud isn't really for doing damage, and hydras, resisting poison, are immune to its confusion effect.
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Shoals Surfer

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Post Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 01:57

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

I recommend using Slow for dealing with hydras, since they don't have much MR.

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Post Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 02:33

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

MrMisterMonkey wrote:Sorry to derail, but meph cloud isn't really for doing damage, and hydras, resisting poison, are immune to its confusion effect.

Well, admittedly I forgot that. But the point stands, most starting books have a spell you'd have gotten by then that will take care of a hydra.

Mines Malingerer

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Post Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 08:31

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

Meph Cloud is overrated. Yes it's very useful in the early game, but by mid-game its ineffective because high HD monsters and rPois. Try to take on a Death Yak with just Meph Coud and Magic Dart and you'll see what I mean.

I'd still say Air Elementalists have the best starting book for a pure spellcaster. You have shock for damage dealing, swiftness for kiting and escaping, plus meph cloud and levitation. Only Static Discharge can be considered useless.
Polyphemus throws a large rock.
Your +3 buckler of reflection reflects the large rock!
The large rock hits Polyphemus.
You kill Polyphemus!

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Post Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 08:45

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

Static Discharge is actually decent in 0.8 trunk.

Dungeon Dilettante

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Post Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 14:06

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

MrMisterMonkey wrote:Static Discharge is actually decent in 0.8 trunk.

Hmmm is it changed in trunk? Strange, I didn't notice that. Could you explain what has been changed about SD?

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Post Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 14:49

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

It does more damage and you take less self-damage per arc, the chance of it arcing is slightly higher, and the chance of creating more initial arcs is higher (assuming you have more than one enemy next to you).

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Post Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 14:57

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

fspades wrote:Meph Cloud is overrated. Yes it's very useful in the early game, but by mid-game its ineffective because high HD monsters and rPois. Try to take on a Death Yak with just Meph Coud and Magic Dart and you'll see what I mean.

I'd still say Air Elementalists have the best starting book for a pure spellcaster. You have shock for damage dealing, swiftness for kiting and escaping, plus meph cloud and levitation. Only Static Discharge can be considered useless.


I couldn't disagree more. Fire Wizard has magic dart, blink, conjure flame, meph cloud and slow. By the time meph cloud stops being useful, you've probably found other spell books.

And again, my biggest problem with AE is that they start with a spell that costs -more- MP, -can- (and does) miss, and you have to bend over backwards to position yourself in specific places to make it most effective while not killing yourself. It's just more a hassle than anything else when the alternative is "There's a monster over there. Macro key for magic dart until it dies, if it's weak. Meph cloud first if it's not. Conjure flame if it's immune to meph cloud." - and that'll hold you till level 15 or higher. By then you've got at least a few more books to choose from; probably even a book with swiftness and levitation.

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Post Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 16:55

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

Static discharge can't miss, actually - I liked using it to take out high EV annoyances like black mambas and blink frogs in my last AE game. It doesn't affect flying monsters, however. And it does have quite high variance, it's possible for it to only inflict a small amount of damage and arc just once. Nevertheless, it's pretty decent now, you should try it in trunk if you haven't been doing.
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Post Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 17:01

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

szanth wrote:-OR- I could just use magic dart.

It costs less MP and I don't have to look at any diagrams to use it, and I'll never kill myself with it.


szanth wrote:And again, my biggest problem with AE is that they start with a spell that costs -more- MP


Why do you keep insisting shock is more expensive than magic dart? They're both lv1 spells. : P

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Post Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 18:18

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

Hrm. I had it in my head for some reason that it cost 2MP. I was wrong, I suppose. Still, the other points stand. It misses too often to be comfortable.

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Post Monday, 3rd January 2011, 00:19

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

Oh, I thought you were comparing static discharge to meph, not shock to magic dart.

Anyway yeah. AE is pretty good and shock is one of the nicer level one spells.

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Mines Malingerer

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Post Monday, 3rd January 2011, 23:01

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

I must say I've started new game with Wizard with a fire book and I'm still playing (Lair 5). I used Meph Clould like I did before but the firepower seems to be much better. And with Fire Bolt + Fireball for 5MP now I'm quite easily dealing with anything that crosses my path. The Blink right from the start is a big advantage as well. Saved my butt few times.

Not to mention this elegant Wizard Hat.

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Post Tuesday, 4th January 2011, 00:44

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

Well the wizard hat is the true source of his power. (not at all true)

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Post Tuesday, 4th January 2011, 13:54

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

Gastronok would beg to differ on the matter of the hat.
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Monday, 10th January 2011, 22:44

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

I'm still playing the same Wizard (haven't had that much time recently) and I'm doing extremely well. The one thing that I could do better is to not block Fighting skill at some point. I have cleared the Lair and I'm walking quite easily through Orcish Mines now. Current chardump: http://crawl.develz.org/morgues/trunk/dpc/dpc.txt . Any advices are welcome.

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Post Tuesday, 11th January 2011, 23:54

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

dpc wrote:Fire Bolt + Fireball for 5MP


Just a tip from someone who plays deep elves all the time: for a deep elven pure caster, Vehumet is largely the poor man's Sif Muna.

Someone will probably argue against this, though.
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Post Wednesday, 12th January 2011, 00:01

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

dtsund wrote:
dpc wrote:Fire Bolt + Fireball for 5MP


Just a tip from someone who plays deep elves all the time: for a deep elven pure caster, Vehumet is largely the poor man's Sif Muna.

Someone will probably argue against this, though.


Depends on if you want a large range of magic (most do) or be focused on just blasting shit (some do).

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Post Wednesday, 12th January 2011, 00:19

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

I've done will with vehumet, playing those sorts of characters. Sif muna is a bit better in the long run if you want versatility, but vehumet guarantees you'll have access to fire/ice storm fairly early, and gives you a wizardry bonus. As a deep elf, you should be able to cast one of those spells before you reach vault:8. This isn't exactly the most sensible way to play a deep elf, but it's pretty fun.

My preference for this style is mainly because I find sif muna boring, though.

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Post Wednesday, 12th January 2011, 02:24

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

Vehumet's big early-game perk is that she awards gifts in a highly predictable manner, letting you plan out your early game more than is possible for most other builds. I find Vehumet to be just right for a wizard, because even without a lucky Amulet of Faith you'll get that first spellbook in early Lair at the absolute latest, which is exactly where the wizard's starting spellbooks start to run out of killing power.

In comparison, Sif Muna sometimes gives you exactly what you need, and other times decides to systematically give you every redundant or unusable book in the game.

Later on, MP-for-kills and extra range are both excellent passives, and a few other gifted spells are very nice. If you decide to dump her for another deity later on, Vehumet's wrath is relatively harmless. She gifts you Abjuration, and then sends summoned demons after you… Worst possible effect is banishment, but it's fairly rare.

Snake Sneak

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Post Wednesday, 19th January 2011, 15:24

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

It may sound counter-intuitive for Vehumet, but consider trying to get Spider Form on the character. My current DeVm got saved from a very nasty situation based solely on Spider's speed and evade.

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Mines Malingerer

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Post Wednesday, 19th January 2011, 16:18

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

jackalKnight wrote:It may sound counter-intuitive for Vehumet, but consider trying to get Spider Form on the character. My current DeVm got saved from a very nasty situation based solely on Spider's speed and evade.


How do I get Spider Form?
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Post Wednesday, 19th January 2011, 17:27

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

Spider Form is a spell. It's in the book Transmuters start with (Book of Changes?)

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Halls Hopper

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Post Thursday, 20th January 2011, 08:47

Re: DE mages (DEVM) -- so fragile.

My way of playing DE so they don't die.

Step 1) Pick a good DE class. Any will do. DEFE before sticky nerf, or DEVM in your case should be fine for a while, although you'll have to get slightly lucky with books. DENe or DEIE would do fine too.

Step 2) Go Ashenzari, curse what items you can.

Step 3) When you get reskilling, reskill your main spell school into fighting. Most spell schools don't require more than ~12-14 skill unless you want to go crazy with L9 spells, which you shouldn't even think about by mid-lair. Your DE should have about 10 levels of fighting so they are now an awesome caster with decent HP.

Step 4) Now you have your human hp good apt char, go forth and rock. Your apts and Ashenzari mean you can gain loads of exp - and this can be used to reskill into whatever spell you like. I recommend Tornado.
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