How can I start to get better at this game?


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

Mines Malingerer

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Joined: Sunday, 2nd April 2017, 11:16

Post Thursday, 6th April 2017, 12:37

How can I start to get better at this game?

I've been playing for a while now, and I'm seriously addicted. I generally play sneaky characters or melee types; I'm not so into spell casters. With luck, I can usually get my characters up to level 9 or 10, or 11 before a stupid death. I've once reached level 20 (octopode monk of all things!).

So what can I do/where can I look for help getting better. I want to find that darned Rune of Zot!

Tomb Titivator

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Joined: Tuesday, 25th November 2014, 02:47

Post Thursday, 6th April 2017, 13:24

Re: How can I start to get better at this game?

1) Watch good players play, esp starting chararcters.

2) Pick (consciously choose) where you fight every battle. Playing summoners helps your understanding of terrain. Fight in explored territory with an escape route.

3) When in danger (HP<50%), Swinging a melee weapon is generally the least efficient use of your turn.

4) Throw stones at everything, walk towards nothing, This is occasionally overruled by rule 2, choose your battlefield.

5) Sneaky melee types without spells aren't a good thing.

6) Walk away.

7) Spam god abilities more.

8) Drink potions more.

9) You should (almost) never die with a ?blink in your inventory. see rule 3.

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mollymolluskus

Tartarus Sorceror

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

Post Thursday, 6th April 2017, 15:07

Re: How can I start to get better at this game?

edgefigaro wrote:1) Watch good players play, esp starting characters.

This has indeed been very helpful to me. I am not sure who are good players and who aren't, if I don't recognize their username from the Tavern. Whom do you suggest?
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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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 6th April 2017, 18:11

Re: How can I start to get better at this game?

Put hp_warning to something like 70% (or even 75%). Also hp_colour = 75:yellow, 50:red.

Whenever your HP drops below the warning percentage, it is time to seriously consider whether you're going to continue the fight, use some consumables or get out.
DCSS: 80: ...MfBeMiSk}DrEE{GrFiFoGl}DgEnFeNe{OpGlHuSu}DDArHaCKSpAEGrTm
DgFEDsCjGhMoHuVM{HaAMBaEn}{HuMoHOWn}DsWzDDHu{DgWnGnBe}FeIE{MiEnMfCj}
SpNeBaEEGrFE{HaAKTrCK}DsFESpHu{FoArNaBe}FeEE{HOIEMiAE}GrGlHuWrGnWrNaAK{BaFi
Bloat: 6: RaRoPrPh{GuStGnCa}{ArEtZoNb}

Cocytus Succeeder

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Post Thursday, 6th April 2017, 18:13

Re: How can I start to get better at this game?

Ultraviolent4 has a Youtube channel, playing tutorial-like games, and streaking them (won the first 7). He is a top player, finished 3rd and 2nd in the last couple of tournaments. He does not play optimally, but he's very good at spotting danger, you can learn a lot.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8r5-0 ... h9VA3f1hXg

Spider Stomper

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Joined: Wednesday, 17th June 2015, 00:14

Location: Germany

Post Thursday, 6th April 2017, 18:15

Re: How can I start to get better at this game?

MainiacJoe wrote:
edgefigaro wrote:1) Watch good players play, esp starting characters.

This has indeed been very helpful to me. I am not sure who are good players and who aren't, if I don't recognize their username from the Tavern. Whom do you suggest?


You can check for high win%: http://crawl.akrasiac.org/scoring/best- ... score.html
(or whatever you define as 'good')

List of all active games: https://crawl.develz.org/watch.htm (click 'nick' to sort for name if you're looking for certain names)

There are old but still valid threads here in the tavern, like 'safe crawling' (?) with more detailed advice for beginners.
Edit: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=16109

There are some YouTube-videos from streaking players who do their utmost to not die.

When I started watching good players I realized that my experience in DCSS was too low to judge the threat-level in the same speed as the player. They simply played too fast for me to get better at the game. It is also a bit pointless imo (from a learning exp.) to watch someone in Pan while having problems with lair branches.

So my advice is: watch zzxc on video (it is slow enough and he is explaining situations). He doesn't seem to play anymore but he has the longest active streak. Otherwise it is difficult to catch good players during the early dungeon.

If you're ever watching good players live: before you bombard them with questions ask with '#' for a morgue of the game you're looking at :)
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 6th April 2017, 19:50

Re: How can I start to get better at this game?

Nebukadnezar wrote:There are some YouTube-videos from streaking players who do their utmost to not die.

Good advice in general. I would just like to point out that the so-called optimal play is extremely tedious and you are not supposed to play like that unless you really want and enjoy that kind of thing. I'm just saying this so that the OP wouldn't start to think "Oh shit, should I really play like that" :)
DCSS: 80: ...MfBeMiSk}DrEE{GrFiFoGl}DgEnFeNe{OpGlHuSu}DDArHaCKSpAEGrTm
DgFEDsCjGhMoHuVM{HaAMBaEn}{HuMoHOWn}DsWzDDHu{DgWnGnBe}FeIE{MiEnMfCj}
SpNeBaEEGrFE{HaAKTrCK}DsFESpHu{FoArNaBe}FeEE{HOIEMiAE}GrGlHuWrGnWrNaAK{BaFi
Bloat: 6: RaRoPrPh{GuStGnCa}{ArEtZoNb}
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Slime Squisher

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Joined: Friday, 2nd May 2014, 15:02

Post Thursday, 6th April 2017, 20:28

Re: How can I start to get better at this game?

play Mi/GrBe

play offline and savescum (copy your saves folder) after every floor. paste save folder after you die. repeat until you win.

after some time you will savescum less and less until you can reliably win
[09:23] <Sequell> kroki is a greatplayer!
[09:23] <Sequell> kroki is a greaterplayer!
[03:57] <Sequell> kroki is a polytheist!
[21:53] <Sequell> kroki is a greatberserker!

Lair Larrikin

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Joined: Friday, 3rd March 2017, 15:24

Post Thursday, 6th April 2017, 21:32

Re: How can I start to get better at this game?

Don't skip floors unless there is something risky on the floor. And once your character is strong enough to not be at serious risk from the threat anymore, revisit the floor. Autoexplore every inch of the floor. Its tedious/grindy sometimes and you probably already do it. But when I first started playing this game I wouldn't do that. Another big thing is coming up with a safe order for visiting each of the branches. Once you figure that out the game can get fairly trite after rolling through lair.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 6th April 2017, 21:57

Re: How can I start to get better at this game?

kroki wrote:play offline and savescum

I would never advice anyone to savescum. It can teach you really bad habits (=take really big risks) and once you decide to try to play for real, you're back on square one, you still don't know how you should play.
DCSS: 80: ...MfBeMiSk}DrEE{GrFiFoGl}DgEnFeNe{OpGlHuSu}DDArHaCKSpAEGrTm
DgFEDsCjGhMoHuVM{HaAMBaEn}{HuMoHOWn}DsWzDDHu{DgWnGnBe}FeIE{MiEnMfCj}
SpNeBaEEGrFE{HaAKTrCK}DsFESpHu{FoArNaBe}FeEE{HOIEMiAE}GrGlHuWrGnWrNaAK{BaFi
Bloat: 6: RaRoPrPh{GuStGnCa}{ArEtZoNb}

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ZoFy

Ziggurat Zagger

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

Post Thursday, 6th April 2017, 22:29

Re: How can I start to get better at this game?

I would never advise anyone to savescum because you can just use explore mode and that's way more convenient

Halls Hopper

Posts: 55

Joined: Thursday, 20th October 2016, 18:32

Post Friday, 7th April 2017, 06:12

Re: How can I start to get better at this game?

Camp the stairs and don't fight anything that has a name in Red and you win! What is camping the stairs? When you see an enemy immediately run toward the stairs. Then go up the stairs with the monster, bash it to death, rest, and then come down the stairs. Multiple monsters? Go up the stairs and try another different staircase. Annoying wizard too far away? Go up the stairs a few times and he will come to you. Cowards win this game. Also do not attack anything that's name is in red just go to the next floor.

Spider Stomper

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Joined: Saturday, 25th March 2017, 16:51

Post Friday, 7th April 2017, 09:48

Re: How can I start to get better at this game?

Don't save scum because it will teach you bad habits. If you feel you have to do it, keep it to a minimum like saving before the branches or some such. But try not to do it at all.
Play easy combos to get your confidence up and learn the game. It doesn't need to be a MiBe. But try to stay away from spell casters because they are harder to someone learning the ropes.
Read forums to understand things like tough uniques, tactics and such.
Remember the mantra: cowards stay alive longer. Heros die a glorious death but don't finish the game.

Spider Stomper

Posts: 212

Joined: Monday, 3rd April 2017, 11:44

Post Friday, 7th April 2017, 13:38

Re: How can I start to get better at this game?

Thry reading these links.
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=16109
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=7699

The opening posts AND the discussion helped me a lot, even if some of the bits are out of date.

Also read this as a branch guide: https://crawl.develz.org/info/index.php?q=hyperelliptic
It's nice to have a general guide for dangerous levels even if you never seen those branches before.

I think a lot of older players forgot what it is like to learn to play the game. Don't play optimally. It's sounds counterintuitive, but rather than to try to maximise the chance of winning each game, you should play with the aim of learning from each game, as you don't have the information to win the game inside of you yet. You need to gain experience and learn threat assessment of what is dangerous and what isn't. A lot of the dangerous situations are from monsters which hit suprisingly hard or in suprising ways, or situations which aren't obvious like shallow water, and the best way to learn which monsters are to avoid is to die from them.

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Zhorgal

Shoals Surfer

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Joined: Tuesday, 13th October 2015, 06:02

Post Saturday, 8th April 2017, 06:51

Re: How can I start to get better at this game?

Decide what your primary attack option will be at the start, and get that up and running. Melee, Ranged or Spells. Get your weapon to min delay or your primary attack spell to max spellpower by training spellcasting + schools. Typically done around D:12 or dive into Lair to finish.

Melee does better wearing heavier armor and a shield while training a weapon. Ranged and Spellcasting does better training Dodging; if you find a buckler train it until penalty is removed as a caster or if using 1-handed Ranged.

By the time that's all done you are probably around D:12 or entered Lair because D:13-15 is more life threatening to the character then Lair. Now's probably a good time to train defense.

Fighting should be trained no matter what character you roll. What you train with that is more open to your current selection of items being worn or found.

Ranged and Casters do better training Fighting and Dodging. Lair is more safe around 20+EV and 100+hp. Melee in heavy armour does better with Fighting and Armour. Melee in light armour does better with Fighting and Dodge. 25 AC and 120+hp tends to make Lair safer for heavy melee. Light armour melee I find tends to need as much dodge and a shield if 1-handed ranged as possible. Less damage reduction. Heavy Armour can train Dodge last when AC is exceptable or if you switched to 2-hander because you lost your shield so now u need doge.

Shields is a matter of taste. Bucklers are good because blocking large rocks needs the least amount of SH from what I experience in game, and can also handle regular centaurs. This is 10-15 SH. So the 1-hander + shield is viable until Depths or Snake or Vault if you were wondering on a good time to switch to a 2-hander without excessive shield training. Races that have good shield aptitudes are good candidates for shields and large shields.

Basically, just choose your skills wisely. Skills with negative aptitudes less than -1 are best saved for later or last. More XP for them later.

other suggestions would be:
1. Only engage player ghosts when you are on stairs that lead to a clear area. You must decide if the fight is doable.
2. Don't get flanked or surrounded, typically.
3. If in the open always retreat a couple steps and never towards monsters, typically.
4. Always retreat if health goes below 50%
5. Break line or sight with early orc priests.
6. Anything that looks like a bee can kill you easily, retreat into a corridor. And, have a shield or something to mitigate poison.
7. Use wands like you breath air against all threats.
8. Break LoS with rock throwers to melee if you don't have a shield.

and plenty more stuff.
8. Sometimes it helps to train Evo or Invo to 7-9 depending on God and or Evocables found.

Crypt Cleanser

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Joined: Saturday, 12th December 2015, 23:54

Post Saturday, 8th April 2017, 15:05

Re: How can I start to get better at this game?

120+ hp for lair is completely absurd for the vast majority of combos.

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duvessa, nago

Cocytus Succeeder

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Post Saturday, 8th April 2017, 16:42

Re: How can I start to get better at this game?

Hellmonk wrote:120+ hp for lair is completely absurd for the vast majority of combos.

TonberryJam's numbers are produced by a random number generator.

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duvessa, Hellmonk, nago, shping
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Tomb Titivator

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Post Sunday, 9th April 2017, 17:37

Re: How can I start to get better at this game?

When I started, I read the Wiki a lot. I still look there fairly often for things I'm not familiar with. You can look up nearly every monster.

It is not perfect. For more powerful monsters, be sure to consider when it was last updated (occasionally there are pretty drastic changes as new versions come out). Sometimes it isn't as clear as one might like. But overall, it is still incredibly helpful.
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More runes! GnWn (11, 0.21), GhMo^Makh (15, 0.17)
And a Yiuf: (1.4.6, 0.20): ImpGl^Oka (3)
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Tomb Titivator

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Post Monday, 10th April 2017, 17:24

Re: How can I start to get better at this game?

4) Throw stones at everything, walk towards nothing, This is occasionally overruled by rule 2, choose your battlefield.

The inverse of this, if it isn't too obvious:

Try not to let anything whittle you down at range. And also, don't miss new monsters creeping up. I still make this mistake sometimes!

It's really easy to get focused on one big problem in front of you, or one piece of loot you'd really like to grab, and ignore the odd kobold/goblin slinging rocks at you, or miss a ghost walking up (they can be kinda hard to see with their faded color). Often this means that even if you could work through the melee stuff, this isn't the best time to stand there and do it.

And don't fight the mobs at range too long if you're starting to lose. The random smacks of a thousand stones will still kill you, if they're doing it often enough.
Online game stats & morgues
More runes! GnWn (11, 0.21), GhMo^Makh (15, 0.17)
And a Yiuf: (1.4.6, 0.20): ImpGl^Oka (3)

Temple Termagant

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Post Thursday, 13th April 2017, 11:54

Re: How can I start to get better at this game?

1: ALWAYS pull enemies that aren't ranged into corridors. Even if you don't think you have to, try to pull enemies into areas you know are safe so you don't risk getting overwhelmed.the only time you should pull a ranged enemy is when they're at the edge of vision, (so they cant shoot you) and try to bait them into cutting a corner so they have to engage close range.
2: Don't TAB fight unless your definite you're going to ace the encounter. Once you know what level you need to be to breeze through certain enemies, keep an eye out for monsters you know have a possibility to kill you, and when you do run into them employ strat 1.
3: whenever you're injured. retreat at least 5 squares away from the encounter that injured you into the already mapped areas and heal up. Pressing 5 will make you automatically wait 50? turns. If you do this with every fight you'll have the benefit of being full hp for the next one. also, use your wands and stones to soften up opponents.
4:Generally, after the second floor I like to read all my scrolls. USE THE ID SCROLLS TO ID POTIONS. Q identifying potions can oten cost you a life-saving potion. I like to do this til I find all the bad potions.
5: Sneaks without hexes don't work very well. its possible, but its a lot better when you have hexes. I would strongly suggest a different approach as the stealth exp is pretty much wasted without a way to forcefully incapacitate.

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