How far is MiFi of Okawaru going to take me?


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Temple Termagant

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 03:20

How far is MiFi of Okawaru going to take me?

Ok, so my most burning question is started in the title, but I have a few others. But first, I'm going to give you done context, feel free to skip if you like.

Recently chanced upon this game in the Android store after becoming curious about procedurally generated games. Tried it out, found it very intriguing, and after one game of death by not knowing how to do anything, I was quick on my way to learning this game. After digging through aptitudes, I settled on minotuar. Seemed straightforward, I chose berserker, because it sounded like a good idea. ~20 (good) games later, and here I am now. After discovering hire good shields were, and also that you can get any god guaranteed early in the game, I switched to fighter. The pros outweighed the chins for me. After trying out most weapon types, I've decided I like polearms the best. The reaching ability is very nice. I switched to okawaru to see how it worked and it seems good for now.

My most recent and best character was destroyed on Vaults:3 (w/serpentine rune) by plethora of enemies. A 57 damage killing blow one move away from teleporting (by scroll) was pretty disappointing. My character before that died on Snake:3 because of Mara, which I could seemingly do nothing about.

My general strategy is to train fighting, polearms, armor, dodging, and shields until I hit my first branch or so (excluding the temple). Then I switch to just polearms (66%) and fighting (33%). I proceed to clear or out until D:15. At that point, I go to swamp:8 and orc:4 while training throwing. usually by then I'll have some ammo of returning. I'll put emphasis on throwing until it's at at least 10, at which point I'll just let it train evenly with the other skills. Once I've cleared both of those branches, I try to tackle snake pit (I would do swamp, but I haven't had it both times I've made it that far). After i get a rune, I go straight for vaults. Haven't made it past that.

As for equipment, all of my farthest runs have used a spear most of the time. They're usually the first branded weapon I get, so I start upgrading it and using it. I also like the fast speed, so I can usually hit multiple times before enemies can reach me. I equip the heaviest armors I pick up, and shields. I also quaff/read unidentified potions and scrolls as soon as I get them. I'm a little more cautious with jewelry.

Now with some background comes the questions:

Do MiFi have viability late game?

Is okawaru the right choice?

Are polearms viable?

If yes, should I stick with spears?

Should I change the order I train skills?

Should I change the order I explore the dungeon?

Any other changes to my strategy I should make?

Are there any spells that are worth getting (and relatively easy to get/use) as a melee-oriented MiFi?

Anything else I should know?

That's all :)
Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, a self-taught newbie who is thinking about getting serious about DCSS.
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Barkeep

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 03:51

Re: How far is MiFi of Okawaru going to take me?

First off, you've gotten runes, so you'll win before too long.

MiFi is good.

Okawaru is not amazing, but is fine.

Polearms are probably the best weapon class. Reaching is really good.

Spears are not very good, unless they have a crazy brand (elec, distort, pain if you have a bunch of necro skill); heavier weapons do a lot more damage. By the time you're in Vaults you'll probably have a glaive or something. If Oka gives you a demon trident, that'll be real nice. You'll have a *lot* easier time killing dudes with bigger weapons. Shields are a little tricky with polearms, as tridents are also pretty weak sauce and the next pointiest one-hander is a demon trident, which is not very common. I'd probably eventually ditch the shield for a 2H polearm.

You probably want to learn about weapon speed and minimum delay (sorry, everyone, for the badwiki link), but you're getting pretty far in the game so you're not horking up skill training horribly or anything. People get real hung up about skill training (and the "what weapon does the most damage" thing) but you can honestly be pretty suboptimal with these things and win.

Some spells that are worthwhile on basically any character that isn't forbidden them: Regeneration, Animate [skeleton|dead], blink, summon butterflies, repel missiles, swiftness. Mi aptitudes are awful, but you don't need a lot of spell levels to get those spells online and Vaults and Depths have a ton of XP. Even still, I might not bother with Animate Dead on a MiFi.

Don't quaff-id potions -- you really don't want to waste !might or !haste if you can avoid it. Scrolls I'll usually read-id.

The best way to deal with Mara is almost always to not fight Mara.
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jwolkins

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 04:17

Re: How far is MiFi of Okawaru going to take me?

That's reassuring news.

On my last run I rebranded my spear to electric, got it to plus nine. Worked pretty well. Okawaru likes to gift me two-handers, which I've normally ignored. I'll look at those more in depth, but I don't normally see them until later, when I have something a lot better.

What stats do I need to cast spells? Even with 3+ spell casting, I can't ever seen to get my character to be able to cast spells at all. Is there some intelligence requirement I'm not aware of?

There aren't many times I've used haste out might potions, but I suppose they've probably saved my skin a few times. That said, I do run into problems with potions of mutation, and sometimes cure mutation. I just don't like not having scrolls of identify, but I do usually end up with a surplus later.

And avoid Mara, noted.

Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated!
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Barkeep

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 04:35

Re: How far is MiFi of Okawaru going to take me?

jwolkins wrote:Do MiFi have viability late game?

Is okawaru the right choice?

Are polearms viable?

If yes, should I stick with spears?

Should I change the order I train skills?

Should I change the order I explore the dungeon?

Any other changes to my strategy I should make?

Are there any spells that are worth getting (and relatively easy to get/use) as a melee-oriented MiFi?

Anything else I should know?

We usually don't discuss combos in terms of "viability," since every combo is capable of winning. Furthermore, "late game viability" is not a big concern w/r/t species; while some gods aren't as useful in the late game or extended, the difference in difficulty between species is substantially reduced as the game goes on.

In any case, MiFi^Oka is a good combo throughout the entire game. You might find it easier to win your first game with Trog, as the suite of abilities is more flexible and the weapon gifts are more reliable.

Polearms tend to be most useful for characters who are fighting behind allies (Beogh, Yred, summoners, etc.) and with species that have particularly high polearms aptitudes (esp. Merfolk). For MiFi, I'd be more inclined to go with maces and flails, especially if I planned on sticking with a shield. Regardless of what weapons you use, you should generally prefer to pick whatever weapon has the highest base damage in your weapon school. Spears, even for one-handed weapon users, are terrible weapons and should usually be ditched ASAP.

The general advice with skill training is that you start with your killdudes skill, start training defense when you can kill dudes fine, and switch back and forth as needed; in the case of minotaurs, I usually focus on my weapon until I'm swinging faster than 1.0, and then I turn on my defensive skills along with the weapon school. It sounds like you're not training invocations, which you'll want with Oka. In any case, don't sweat it too much, as good combos like this one can be pretty forgiving in terms of skill training as long as you play with good tactics.

Unless you're doing some challenge or conduct, your characters will always want to do the traditional path: get to Lair and complete it, do Orc, explore D to 15, and then start looking for runes. Typically, people consider Swamp the easiest and Shoals the hardest, with Snake and Spider in between. After grabbing two runes (or one rune and the first few floors of a branch you can't finish thanks to uniques), do Vaults:1-4; if you have good MR and resistances you can do Elf at this point, too. Finally, complete Depths, do Vaults:5, Slime, or Abyss (whichever you find least scary, probably Vaults) for your third rune, and then go to Zot.

Your character probably won't want to mess too much with spells until the midgame, but stuff like blink, apportation, spectral weapon, regeneration, animate skeleton, and other low-level high-impact spells are great. Avoid training casting skills until your offense and defense are solid either way.

Finally, the key tactic in Crawl us knowing when to run away. In nearly every situation, you should avoid moving toward monsters, preferring instead to lure them back to safe territory or a superior position. Ideally, fight one-on-one. If your HP dips below 75%, you should pause and consider your options; at 50%, you should run away ASAP. Don't forget that Crawl is a turn-based game, which means that instead of mashing buttons, the best way to solve problems is to examine the monsters, check your inventory, and take things one turn at a time.

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 04:39

Re: How far is MiFi of Okawaru going to take me?

My experience with Oka is that by Lair, he's giving you top-tier endgame weapons, so you should really be using those instead of the one-handed spear (I guess if you get a demon trident, but don't hold on to the shield hoping for that). Being able to kill things quickly does a lot more for your defenses than having a shield.

For casting spells, you probably want to sink some levels into the spell school as well as into Spellcasting, although lvl 3 spellcasting is very low. Also, for most of those spells you don't need them at 100% cast rate. 80% is generally fine. With repel missiles, horrible success rate is even fine as you aren't casting it in-fight.

Don't be stingy with ?ID. There's absolutely no point in hording them for use later when you need to know what your items are now. The !might or !haste you can save is much more important than the few ?ID you use up.

On a related note, if you find that you're dying with tons of unused consumables, you may well be too stingy with them as well. It's probably better to be to generous with them and learn when is too much than to be too stingy and never learn to use them at all. And they're much better before the fight than if you use them as a panic button.

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 04:43

Re: How far is MiFi of Okawaru going to take me?

jwolkins wrote:On my last run I rebranded my spear to electric, got it to plus nine. Worked pretty well. Okawaru likes to gift me two-handers, which I've normally ignored. I'll look at those more in depth, but I don't normally see them until later, when I have something a lot better.


One of the counterintuitive things about crawl weapons is that, with sufficient skill, higher base damage (i.e. better weapon type) makes a much bigger difference than enchantments, or in most cases, brands. So a spear is really not a great weapon, except with certain specific brands on it, elec being one. But then, anything that resists electricity will take somewhat negligible damage from even a +9 spear. Or, another way of putting it is that a +9 spear isn't as good as even a +0 halberd (at mindelay). And a mindelay maximally enchanted bardiche is doing something like three times the amount of damage of a +9 spear.

I like shields in general but on a Mi I almost always have gone two-handed -- they will have good defenses without shields, and a bardiche is a really, really strong weapon with enough training.

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 05:57

Re: How far is MiFi of Okawaru going to take me?

advil wrote:Or, another way of putting it is that a +9 spear isn't as good as even a +0 halberd (at mindelay).
this is not true

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 08:48

Re: How far is MiFi of Okawaru going to take me?

jwolkins wrote:What stats do I need to cast spells? Even with 3+ spell casting, I can't ever seen to get my character to be able to cast spells at all. Is there some intelligence requirement I'm not aware of?

I am a new player myself, so I learn a ton of things in your topic.

For spell success, have a look at this :
http://crawl.chaosforge.org/Spell_Success

Spellcasting has a lower impact than the spell school. (x3 vs x6) but works for all magical school. And if you have 2 spell schools like Conjuration/Fire, you spell power use the average. So it might explain that even with a few point in spellcasting your success rate won't increase much. The spell success is also influenced by INT and hindered by armour. So basically the Minotaur is likely one of the worst spell caster in the game, but that does not mean that you can't cast a few low level spell.

Another things to keep in mind in the skill cost :
http://crawl.chaosforge.org/Skill_point

Roughly speaking, if I understand correctly, it is relatively cheap to train a skill up to 8-9, but then the cost is much steeper. (But this does not take into account the racial skill aptitude which roughly add or remove 20% in cost per point).

A good idea is to check the cost to reach the next level in the skill panel. It gives you an idea if it is worth it or not.

Now I have a generic question for more experienced player.

If you are playing something like a MiFi, generally is it better to spend some point in some magic school for utility spell, or to spend some point in evocation to complete your build ? (it might depend on what you found so far..)
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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 09:47

Re: How far is MiFi of Okawaru going to take me?

Wouldn't any sort of animate dead spell be a no-no for an Okawaru worshiper, since he hates it when your your allies die?
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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 11:19

Re: How far is MiFi of Okawaru going to take me?

TehDruid wrote:Wouldn't any sort of animate dead spell be a no-no for an Okawaru worshiper, since he hates it when your your allies die?

That's outdated information. Currently Oka only hates you if you attack your allies.
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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 12:49

Re: How far is MiFi of Okawaru going to take me?

An advice for late game - there is little reason to excessively train melee/martial skills. Training cost increases significantly with each skill level, but the gains are linear or even decremental. For weapon skill you want to reach a level which guarantees mindelay. For fighting/dodging/armour the final level depends on aptitudes, armour type and stats, but let's say that 20 is reasonable here. Anything above 24 will be most likely a waste. It is much better to train some supportive skills with reamining exp, which leads to the question:
seren wrote:If you are playing something like a MiFi, generally is it better to spend some point in some magic school for utility spell, or to spend some point in evocation to complete your build ? (it might depend on what you found so far..)

Evocations are usually a better choice. Minotaurs have poor spellcasting apts. Heavy armour and low intelligence further impede spellcasting. You would also likely have to train multiple skills to get your spells reliable. Evocations on the other hand are unaffected by stats/equipment and provide you with a wide range of effects - all for a single skill.

If you follow my initial advice, you might still have enough experience to grab low level utility spells like repel missiles or song of slaying.

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 16:55

Re: How far is MiFi of Okawaru going to take me?

Sprucery wrote:
TehDruid wrote:Wouldn't any sort of animate dead spell be a no-no for an Okawaru worshiper, since he hates it when your your allies die?

That's outdated information. Currently Oka only hates you if you attack your allies.

Oh, thanks a lot Sprucery, I've been inactive for a good while and haven't been keeping up with the changes like I used to...!
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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 17:04

Re: How far is MiFi of Okawaru going to take me?

Sprucery wrote:
TehDruid wrote:Wouldn't any sort of animate dead spell be a no-no for an Okawaru worshiper, since he hates it when your your allies die?

That's outdated information. Currently Oka only hates you if you attack your allies.

But Ely does dislike it when your allies die, right? Not that you'll be making zombies with her, but e.g. ?Summon or elemental evokers.
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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 17:17

Re: How far is MiFi of Okawaru going to take me?

duvessa wrote:
advil wrote:Or, another way of putting it is that a +9 spear isn't as good as even a +0 halberd (at mindelay).
this is not true


Well, I did the fsim before posting, so pretty sure that it is.

Edit, just to expand on this, with flaming brand, here's what you get, comparable results with unbranded:

  Code:
Increased Polearms to skill level 16.0.
            AvHitDam | MaxDam | Accuracy | AvDam | AvTime | AvSpeed | AvEffDam
 Attacking:      9.5 |     53 |      92% |   8.8 |    70  |  1.43 |     12.5
 Defending:     16.2 |     39 |      75% |  12.3 |   100  |  1.00 |     12.3
 Your +0 halberd of flaming stops flaming.
 It bursts into flame!
_g - a +9 spear of flaming (weapon)
            AvHitDam | MaxDam | Accuracy | AvDam | AvTime | AvSpeed | AvEffDam
 Attacking:      6.5 |     38 |      93% |   6.0 |    50  |  2.00 |     12.1
 Defending:     15.9 |     39 |      76% |  12.2 |   100  |  1.00 |     12.2


There are probably other choices I could've made about stats and so on, but the best you're going to get is that the +9 spear is equivalent, and in most cases it's worse.

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 17:51

Re: How far is MiFi of Okawaru going to take me?

MainiacJoe wrote:But Ely does dislike it when your allies die, right? Not that you'll be making zombies with her, but e.g. ?Summon or elemental evokers.

I believe so, but I haven't played Ely in ages (probably not since Healer was removed)...
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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 18:46

Re: How far is MiFi of Okawaru going to take me?

Now with some background comes the questions:

Do MiFi have viability late game? Hell yeah, you can even go for extended easily

Is okawaru the right choice? Yep, best way to get good equipement. After that he is boring but you can't leave him at least after clearin V:5, because his wrath is extremely hard. If you don't go extended, keep Oka till the end

Are polearms viable? Oh yeah!

If yes, should I stick with spears? Train polearm to 14 and wait for Oka to gift you a demon trident

Should I change the order I train skills? Train polearm to 14 (it's quick for a minotaur) and then only train fighting, dodging, armour and shield. Or start shield earlier, when polearm reache 10 or 12; Shield reduce your attack speed if you don't have enough skill, sometimes i use a buckler not to slow me too much. Don't bother with throwing.

Should I change the order I explore the dungeon? I do dungeon till I find orcs, then orcs or lair (except Orc:4, I do last), then clear dungeon, then branches, then elfs, then vaults (except V:5, which is extremely dangerous, then depth, then Vault 5)

Any other changes to my strategy I should make? Demon trident + skill 14; Big shield + skill 26

Are there any spells that are worth getting (and relatively easy to get/use) as a melee-oriented MiFi? Nope. If you go extended and don't know what to do with you XP, you can traincharms to haste yourself and aliies

Anything else I should know? Since I read the analyze of TheGlow's 18-streak, I almost always use a fire dragon armour, which is a good balance between AC and EV. You can go CPA or GDA but plan it from the start in order to put enough strenght (25 or 27)
DCSS wins: MiFi3; GrFi3; GrFi5; MiFi15; DECj3; CeHu15; VSFi15; HOBe15; MiBe15; DgFE3; DsBe; HEMo3; NaMo15; FoFi3; GrWn15; DDFi3; MuGl3; DEFE15

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 19:57

gdami1 wrote:Any other changes to my strategy I should make? Demon trident + skill 14; Big shield + skill 26

There have been many discussions in this forum if (normal) shields are useful at all or if you should go for a two-handed weapon. But for sure large shields are a very dubious choice for most chars. The skill investment is much too high.
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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 02:20

Re:

Turukano wrote:
gdami1 wrote:Any other changes to my strategy I should make? Demon trident + skill 14; Big shield + skill 26

There have been many discussions in this forum if (normal) shields are useful at all or if you should go for a two-handed weapon. But for sure large shields are a very dubious choice for most chars. The skill investment is much too high.


On the other hand, if you're not planning to cast much or at all, you can use a large shield without investing 25 skill into it. Just look at your EV/SH values and see if it is worth it at varying skill levels. In many/most cases though, a regular shield is probably the better choice, if only because they are more common, and you're more likely to find a good randart or ego one.
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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 10:22

Re: How far is MiFi of Okawaru going to take me?

At some point with a MiFi you have lots of XP to spend, so maybe for a 3-runes you should stay with a regular shield with a good ego (protection is my favourite) but if you go extended, big shield is affordable and necessary
DCSS wins: MiFi3; GrFi3; GrFi5; MiFi15; DECj3; CeHu15; VSFi15; HOBe15; MiBe15; DgFE3; DsBe; HEMo3; NaMo15; FoFi3; GrWn15; DDFi3; MuGl3; DEFE15
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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 10:31

gdami1 wrote:if you go extended, big shield is affordable and necessary

I don't think so. Very important threats in extended are torment and hellfire and shields don't help here.

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