Centaurs feel almost unfair. What am I supposed to do?


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Vaults Vanquisher

Posts: 463

Joined: Monday, 20th July 2015, 04:01

Post Tuesday, 12th January 2016, 10:05

Centaurs feel almost unfair. What am I supposed to do?

I understand there's supposed to be challenge in this game, but this is ridiculous. If a centaur appears in view I have to pray to the god that I don't have yet that I can somehow make it to the stairs within 4 or 5 turns or I just die.

They can't be outrun.
It is very, very difficult to break line of sight with them thanks to their movement speed.
If unlucky they tear any character and build from full health apart in 4 or 5 player turns.
They appear extremely early, as early as D:3, before I have any measures to counter them (such as scrolls or RMsl).
The only way to kill them is to get lucky enough to have them within 2 or 3 spaces when you first make eye contact.

I was just killing monsters with my bare draconian hands and other appendages that I may or may not have conjured up, gleefully wishing spider form had more than 20 evasion so I could dodge centaur arrows with it when low and behold, a centaur shows up (I was not transformed). I tried to flee to the stairs while covering my escape with sticks to snakes but the crawlspace was too big. I tried to break line of sight but it feels like it gets three turns to my one thanks to very low firing delay. I was dead before I could make it there and it took about... 8 turns. I decided to stop playing AE and I hadn't ID'd any scrolls since its super early in the dungeon, so I was defenseless.

When I die to things like acid monsters or hydras it always feels like I could've done something to stop them, but here they just feel like total bullshit. These things show up way too early in the dungeon for how strong they are.

Edit: Completely unrelated and nothing to do with why I died to a cent: I recently learned that a lot of problems I have with this game are taking too long and getting wrecked by OoD monsters. Am I supposed to speedrun my way through floors so that less of these buggers get generated? Does that mean I should stop using autoexplore since it's not very efficient (greedy algorithms yay)?

Cocytus Succeeder

Posts: 2221

Joined: Sunday, 18th December 2011, 13:31

Post Tuesday, 12th January 2016, 11:08

Re: Centaurs feel almost unfair. What am I supposed to do?

Most of Dungeon layouts offer lot of walls and hallways, which is the cheapest way to fight ranged threats: use corner - best solution - or even a single wall to force a ranged enemy to come closer and fight in melee. Especially footaurs are significantly less deadly in close combat. Remember also dig and disint for do that.

An early centaur in a on open area surely is a dreadful foe for most combo, and need consumables to survive or fight: they have terrible MR, so hexes in form of spells or wand are very good against them. The usual consumables like ?fear, ?fog, !agility, !haste and so on work well as always.

I don't know the exact dynamic of that death, but from your description I believe running away wasn't the right answer: as you noted, a centaur is faster than most races - speed 15 - so just moving away won't save the char unless the stairs are very close - like one or two titles, while you spent like 8 turns doing so. Covering with just s2s wasn't great because a snake or two isn't a great meatshield from distance from a centaur, especially if you also move, so you gives more turns to him to attack either you or your snakes.
If you really hadn't a single consumable in hand (but id-reading scrolls in those situations is usually somewhat good, as well as id-pot) and no wall was close by, probably just keeping to summon snakes until mp was empty and then move towards him, was a sensible choice: hopefully, some snakes would have survive to his arrows, forcing him to melee while also giving you the chance to engage in close combat too.

Ood spawn triggers after 1k turns spent in one floor, but it's extremely rare. From my experience (I'm a slow turns player) you can easily autoexplore three times the same floor, rest lot of turns because stairdancing from the floor below and still don't get any Ood in 99,9999% of cases. Therefore, I wouldn't change for now your play stile - unless you usually spend a really high amount of turns per floor, like 3/4k or more
screw it I hate this character I'm gonna go melee Gastronok

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Crypt Cleanser

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Post Tuesday, 12th January 2016, 11:25

Re: Centaurs feel almost unfair. What am I supposed to do?

How to deal with centaurs:
1) Don't explore without full HP
2) He'll follow you when he's out of LOS - use doors & corners to make him close the distance
3) He's a wimp in melee - beat him up
4) When caught in open - it's better to run at him instead of running away if there are no crevices nearby
5) Use wands of confusion or polymorph!
"Damned, damned be the legions of the damned..."

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swoonis

Tomb Titivator

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Joined: Sunday, 23rd June 2013, 15:20

Post Tuesday, 12th January 2016, 15:03

Re: Centaurs feel almost unfair. What am I supposed to do?

Get some defenses early if you are on such a squishy species, eg one or two points of EV trough dodging. Also stealth is helpful.

Cocytus Succeeder

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Joined: Sunday, 18th December 2011, 13:31

Post Tuesday, 12th January 2016, 16:03

Re: Centaurs feel almost unfair. What am I supposed to do?

He was a Dr, so the char wasn't a really squishy race.
Plus he was a Tm, who is so extremely experience hungry in the early game that training dodging early on is difficult (and probably kinda bad).
Finally, training fighting is usually better than dodging, at least when the skills' level aren't too different, as it offer better returns overall.
screw it I hate this character I'm gonna go melee Gastronok

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kuniqs, Sar, ydeve

Lair Larrikin

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Joined: Saturday, 25th October 2014, 00:17

Post Tuesday, 12th January 2016, 21:27

Re: Centaurs feel almost unfair. What am I supposed to do?

All the fast monsters feel OP in the early dungeon. I can't count how many games I've lost on D1 to a pack of jackals or adders (what I get for playing so many glass cannons). Go deeper and the centaurs are deadly, and then the centaur warriors show up just when you feel safe . . .

The game throws up harsh situations sometimes, and sometimes there's no escaping. That's rogue for you.

Tartarus Sorceror

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Joined: Thursday, 31st May 2012, 15:45

Post Tuesday, 12th January 2016, 22:05

Re: Centaurs feel almost unfair. What am I supposed to do?

My goal with centaurs is to get into melee distance and smash/blast them. For some reason they put away their bow and try to beat you with their fists when you get one square away, and they're much less dangerous that way. If you are 2-3 spaces away, you can rush them and they'll come to blows--they don't kite you at all as far as I can tell. It can seem that way if you duck around a corner, but all that's happening is that they are positioning themselves to be 2-3 spaces away from the first space they couldn't see from their original position when they can see it again. As soon as they appear, rush them.

If you see a centaur and are not in rushing distance like having just opened a door or turned a corner, try to approach it from a different direction. Your goal is for it to enter your LOS at 2-3 spaces. If it hasn't noticed you, then this is easy, if the floor geometry allows it. If the centaur has noticed you, you want to break LOS ASAP and let it's "look around the corner at range" algorithm give you a chance to rush it. If the map is bad, but it hasn't noticed you, get in a spot nearby where you can duck around a corner, then shout to wake it up and as soon as it knows where you are, step around your corner and rush him when he turns it himself.

I did have a recent centaur death (not including the Nessos one). I had a centaur at 3-4 after turning a corner, and a pack of orcs with a warrior at edge of LOS beyond that. The centaur noticed me, shouted, and woke up the pack. I decided I didn't want to rush the centaur and have the pack surround me, so I ran towards a stair that was just out of LOS the other direction. I was Dr with pretty good HP for that dungeon level, but the centaur's bow was flaming and I didn't make it.

And, since I've been playing a lot of Cj lately: their low HD makes them susceptible to blinding via Dazzling Spray. They still know where you are and still shoot at you, but their accuracy gets a big malus, making it safe to rush them from a greater distance. Once I do get to one hex away, it's Searing Ray in the face, more MP-efficient and you can afford to do it because they don't do much damage in melee. Also, Fulminant Prisms block their fire, not for long but it can give you a respite to make it to a corner.
Won (52). Remaining (15): 5 species: Ba, Fe, Mu, Na, Op; 5 Backgrounds: AM, Wr, Su, AE, Ar; 5 gods: Jiyv, newNem, WJC, newSif, newFedh
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Zot Zealot

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Post Tuesday, 12th January 2016, 22:08

suboptimal wrote:All the fast monsters feel OP in the early dungeon. I can't count how many games I've lost on D1 to a pack of jackals or adders (what I get for playing so many glass cannons).

Transmuters are hard to start. You will have an easier game in the early dungeon with other classes. E.g. berserkers (berserking ability) and ice elementalists (freeze) are known to have a better start.

Vaults Vanquisher

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Joined: Saturday, 9th November 2013, 14:34

Post Tuesday, 12th January 2016, 22:10

Re: Centaurs feel almost unfair. What am I supposed to do?

I find it also helps to have a little Stealth when you're fragile so that if you do see something at the edge of your LOS, there's a better chance it won't yet have seen you. That gives you a few turns usually to either break LOS or at least move toward a better location while it follows you without noticing you yet. This is great for centaurs, but also comes in handy for things like Sigmund, Grinder, etc. Failing that, if it's too dangerous to rush in and bash him, use wands or, if no wands yet, read-id hoping to get Tele, Fear, Fog, Blink or sometimes even Random Uselessness if it gives you butterflies.

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