Why do I suck so badly at this game?


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

Temple Termagant

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Post Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 18:14

Why do I suck so badly at this game?

I've played soooooooooooooo many times and I can't seem to get passed level 13 (worse for magic users...)

Make the sucking stop.
B

Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 19:51

Re: Why do I suck so badly at this game?

Why do you die?
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

Temple Termagant

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Post Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 20:48

Re: Why do I suck so badly at this game?

the monsters get harder than my character can handle and eventually (pretty soon, I guess) I make a mistake and don't escape.

Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 21:05

Re: Why do I suck so badly at this game?

There is almost always something better to do than to move towards an enemy.
You don't have to fight every monster.
Consumables are there to be used.
Threat assessment is a large part of the game.
Some character combinations are easier than others.

What types of characters (species and background) have you been running? Some are easier than others.
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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mcbry

Abyss Ambulator

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Post Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 21:06

Re: Why do I suck so badly at this game?

Not really knowing anything about how you play, I have one recommendation: Fight monsters one at a time.

To give a bit more detail, a large part of winning crawl is not to attract too much attention. Find one monster, throw a stone, then retreat back to a safe area, like a corridor or staircase, then kill the monster there. Then look for the next monster. Don't walk towards the monster, and don't fight where you find them.

This will feel kinda tedious I suspect, but after a while you'll be able to judge what is actually dangerous and what isn't. Then you can choose to take more risks in order to preserve your sanity.

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mcbry

Temple Termagant

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Post Wednesday, 10th May 2017, 01:19

Re: Why do I suck so badly at this game?

That's pretty good advice. I guess I need to slow down. I've run a lot of different types, I like troll monks, halfling hunters, I can't keep magic users alive very long usually.

Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Wednesday, 10th May 2017, 02:22

Re: Why do I suck so badly at this game?

Try a gargoyle, miniature, or hill orc berserker
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

Cocytus Succeeder

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Post Wednesday, 10th May 2017, 06:46

Re: Why do I suck so badly at this game?

MainiacJoe wrote: miniature


A new name for spriggans? :D

Spider Stomper

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Post Wednesday, 10th May 2017, 07:47

Re: Why do I suck so badly at this game?

He means Minotaur. A spriggan berserker would be a challenge.
Read this posthttps://crawl.develz.org/tavern/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=23384 and the posts mentioned by One of the replies.
It takes a lot of discipline to implement what it says there, in short:
  • each time you take a risk, you're risking death
  • play the same char over and over to learn the tactical aspect of the game
  • see what works against each type
  • try to recognize threats ASAP and run if you you are not 100% sure of winning
  • you don't need to kill everything
  • lure monsters one at a time to a corridor or up the stairs
  • cowards win this game

Why do I have such a low success rate? Because I don't follow this list and ALL my deaths are related with not following it.
Play something like a MiBe or a MiFi^Mak wielding an axe. But a MiBe is usually easier because it has panic buttons since the start.

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mcbry
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Blades Runner

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Post Wednesday, 10th May 2017, 08:58

Re: Why do I suck so badly at this game?

It also helps to analyse your deaths. Whenever you get to some place for the first time, you'll see new monsters, and they might kill you in entirely new ways. Don't be frustrated, but see these as learning experiences. Try to read what happens when you die, look up the monsters that kill you on the crawl wiki, and be better prepared next time. An example: You get snuffed by a hydra in the lair - next time you will not attack it with a bladed weapon, and things will get better for you. Or you get whittled down by something invisible on D12 - read up on the Unseen Horror and deal with it next time. Over time you will accumulate enough experience to make it through a game alive. Let's be honest, all of us, it took us many months, if not years to scratch our first win in this game!
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mcbry

Shoals Surfer

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Post Wednesday, 10th May 2017, 10:09

Re: Why do I suck so badly at this game?

A bit of a wild guess here but OP might be unaware of the standard branch clearing order which goes approximately like this:
Spoiler: show
Lair -> D:12 -> Orc -> D:15 -> S:3 -> maybe other S:3 -> maybe Elf:1-2 -> get one S rune -> Vaults:4 -> get second S rune -> maybe Crypt -> Depths:5 -> get three runes -> Zot

Back in my nooby days i'd try to clear the entire (27 floors deep) dungeon before going to Lair and predictably get wrecked by monsters out of my reach.
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Zot:5 on easy mode video
Double Skullcrusher

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Cimanyd, mcbry

Shoals Surfer

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Post Wednesday, 10th May 2017, 15:08

Re: Why do I suck so badly at this game?

mcbry wrote:I've played soooooooooooooo many times and I can't seem to get passed level 13 (worse for magic users...)

Make the sucking stop.
B


Magedudes doing worse than meledudes implies unfocused builds.

Build focused characters ignore all the shinies until your core skillset and god stabalize, then stack bulk or splash utility if it's relevant.

By xl13 your killdudes should be adequate to manage all but the most severe OOD spawns.

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mcbry

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Post Wednesday, 10th May 2017, 16:06

Re: Why do I suck so badly at this game?

NhorianScum wrote:Magedudes doing worse than meledudes implies unfocused builds.

Build focused characters ignore all the shinies until your core skillset and god stabalize, then stack bulk or splash utility if it's relevant.

By xl13 your killdudes should be adequate to manage all but the most severe OOD spawns.


This is unlikely to be helpful. In google translate, there is no option to translate from Tavernspeak to English.

Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Wednesday, 10th May 2017, 16:36

Re: Why do I suck so badly at this game?

Magipi wrote:
NhorianScum wrote:Magedudes doing worse than meledudes implies unfocused builds.

Build focused characters ignore all the shinies until your core skillset and god stabalize, then stack bulk or splash utility if it's relevant.

By xl13 your killdudes should be adequate to manage all but the most severe OOD spawns.


This is unlikely to be helpful. In google translate, there is no option to translate from Tavernspeak to English.


I'll try:

Wizards are more difficult to keep focused on their core tasks than warriors, because there are more skills that are relevant to them and they get tempted more often by floor loot. For instance, if you are a brute training axes, and find a really good long sword on the floor, you're likely to correctly reject it and keep training axes. But if you are an ice mage, and find a good fire magic book on the floor, you might be tempted to memorize some of its spells and start training fire. That dilutes your character, so when you meet a dangerous monster, you've spread your experience too thin and can't cope with it.

Focus first of all on getting your character's core skills for killing stuff mastered. This doesn't mean a battleaxe all the way to skill 20 for minimum attack delay. What it does mean is that you are consistently crushing all your foes. When this happens, then start training defenses. You don't need to overkill, but there are monsters out there that are strong enough to challenge you and better defenses will give you staying power. Keep training defenses until you notice you're having a hard time killing stuff like you used to, then train offenses ("killdudes") more.

PS yes, "miniatures" above was "minotaurs" My phone doesn't speak Tavern, either.
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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mcbry

Shoals Surfer

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Post Wednesday, 10th May 2017, 17:54

Re: Why do I suck so badly at this game?

A more accurate translation uses even less words tbh. "Have what you need when you need it".

Example: While the longsword may not be tempting on meledude and is a bad choice most of the time light evo or invo can be considered part of your core skillset so dropping everything to buff an early hex wand or strong god is often a very good idea. This is a choice within your existing core skillset based on immediate need if you're stable go for it, this will save consumables later. If you're struggling then burn consumables till you stabalize and invest in the cheapest way to make your dude stable.

Other example: An IE with flat apts has ice beasts at reasonable fail rate and average delay on a polearm. This IE finds a kiku altar/early goodbook. 10 times out of 10 you would want to go light fight +dodge/armor (if you find very good early ring) while focusing on necro/goodspells. Finding this same altar or book before SIB and average delay you would just wait. Ice beast average delay represents the effective cap of IE's core skillset so shifting into mele/book/god as a new (and final) core skillset is a no-brainer. Shifting over before ice beast average delay is a horrible idea though unless you're playing a race with rock bottom pole/su/ice apts.

It's complicated but the benchmark for knowing when your "core skillset" is stable can be figured out pretty easily via a yes/no test. "Do i have to use consumables to manage at-level enemies". Knowing when to expand or change over follows a similar rule of "Will investing into my core skills allow me to kill on level things without consumables".

These choices become non-choices as you learn more about the game, so go die more. You'll figure it out.

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mcbry

Temple Termagant

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Post Wednesday, 10th May 2017, 20:50

Re: Why do I suck so badly at this game?

Was doing ok until that last post, NhorianScum. There are concepts there I can't decipher with what I've seen. This idea of staying focused in a particular skillset, unless some really special item comes your way early to allow you to expand in other directions, I think I get it and that will be helpful. And the "go die more", I get and appreciate that sentiment too.

Thanks for all the advice, I'm going to go see if I can't get to level 14.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 10th May 2017, 22:27

Re: Why do I suck so badly at this game?

mcbry wrote:Was doing ok until that last post, NhorianScum. There are concepts there I can't decipher with what I've seen.
That's okay, it was bad advice anyway.

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braveplatypus

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Post Thursday, 11th May 2017, 02:16

Re: Why do I suck so badly at this game?

NhorianScum wrote:A more accurate translation uses even less words tbh. "Have what you need when you need it".

Example: While the longsword may not be tempting on meledude and is a bad choice most of the time light evo or invo can be considered part of your core skillset so dropping everything to buff an early hex wand or strong god is often a very good idea. This is a choice within your existing core skillset based on immediate need if you're stable go for it, this will save consumables later. If you're struggling then burn consumables till you stabalize and invest in the cheapest way to make your dude stable.

Other example: An IE with flat apts has ice beasts at reasonable fail rate and average delay on a polearm. This IE finds a kiku altar/early goodbook. 10 times out of 10 you would want to go light fight +dodge/armor (if you find very good early ring) while focusing on necro/goodspells. Finding this same altar or book before SIB and average delay you would just wait. Ice beast average delay represents the effective cap of IE's core skillset so shifting into mele/book/god as a new (and final) core skillset is a no-brainer. Shifting over before ice beast average delay is a horrible idea though unless you're playing a race with rock bottom pole/su/ice apts.


While most melee characters probably do want to learn some evocations (I'm guilty of not using evocations as much as I should - it's strong), I wouldn't say "drop everything to buff a hex wand" is usually the right move. Your core skills are, well, core; they should be at a comfortable level before you add evocations. Note it doesn't really take much to reach a comfortable level, you can train evocations fairly early, but "drop everything" strikes me as a bit too strong.

Similiarly, I'd think that an IE who has good ice magic and has already trained a weapon skill is fairly spread out, and might not want to make a deep dive into necromancy. Again it'll depend on the circumstances, and I confess to never having really used simulacrum, but it's quite reasonable to assume you'll eventually find ice spells and win the game through bolt of cold/freezing cloud instead. If you picked either Sif or Vehumet, finding those spells is nearly a sure thing.

In short, I'm not saying your examples are wrong, but they aren't hard and fast rules. There's a lot of ways to develop characters, even if players tend to fall into patterns and build characters in specific ways for most of their games.

Shoals Surfer

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Post Thursday, 11th May 2017, 04:37

Re: Why do I suck so badly at this game?

tasonir wrote:While most melee characters probably do want to learn some evocations (I'm guilty of not using evocations as much as I should - it's strong), I wouldn't say "drop everything to buff a hex wand" is usually the right move. Your core skills are, well, core; they should be at a comfortable level before you add evocations. Note it doesn't really take much to reach a comfortable level, you can train evocations fairly early, but "drop everything" strikes me as a bit too strong.

Similiarly, I'd think that an IE who has good ice magic and has already trained a weapon skill is fairly spread out, and might not want to make a deep dive into necromancy. Again it'll depend on the circumstances, and I confess to never having really used simulacrum, but it's quite reasonable to assume you'll eventually find ice spells and win the game through bolt of cold/freezing cloud instead. If you picked either Sif or Vehumet, finding those spells is nearly a sure thing.

In short, I'm not saying your examples are wrong, but they aren't hard and fast rules. There's a lot of ways to develop characters, even if players tend to fall into patterns and build characters in specific ways for most of their games.


Good thing they were given as conditional examples of where light investment is good rather than hard and fast rules eh?

Spoiler: show
Off the top of my head (not perfectly accurate) average delay on 1h poles falls between 3 (spear) and 6ish (trident) skill so we're not talking heavy invest here. Some nerd is just poking over IB's with a venom brand.

Getting a book of flames up and going is similar investment wise to the SiB>BoC jump on a neutral apts race and a bird in the hand etc. Pretty sure we can agree that "learn Cflame" is actually a hard and fast rule for casterdudes though.

Necro was mentioned in conjunction with kiku as a parallel to invo, I'm pretty sure everyone takes necro on kiku?

It takes "almost" the same amount of exp to get evo/invo to x amount with the same delay to other skillgrowth training them lightly as it does focusing them. Getting a double power strongwand/usable invothing by the first 2 headed ogre is probably better than another .1 swingspeed on the dude who's already tabbing popcorn.


(These posts are made with the knowledge that you need nothing to win crawl consistently, at all, ever. However in this setting cntrl-q is a form of unavoidable death.)

Temple Termagant

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Post Friday, 12th May 2017, 12:34

Re: Why do I suck so badly at this game?

Thanks for all your advice. I just died again, but at level nineteen, after clearing several levels I'd never seen before. I'd say your advice (and Sphara's) was very useful.
B

Slime Squisher

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Post Thursday, 18th May 2017, 15:21

Re: Why do I suck so badly at this game?

Crawl is a weird beast for me. I am not willing to become the supercautious, "don't fight unless you're 100% sure" character. I want to win the game while having the most fun. All of my wins have been while sustaining this mindset. Then I lose for a lot of times and it seems that fun and getting killed correlate too tightly and I quit for a while. Still wondering about my best approach.

I do play moderately cautiously. I don't charge into the black to fight things. I use stairs and try to peel the edges off crowds. Threat assessment is always a challenge though. If I escape from the first hydra I see I might pick up an add before I get to the stairs, or teleport into worse danger. But I sometimes don't know yet if this character's kit is good enough to just stand and kill it.
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Post Friday, 19th May 2017, 02:42

Re: Why do I suck so badly at this game?

Just to lessen the blows:

A whole LOT of early runs die around Dungeon levels 10-13. I had pretty much the same experience, even with quite a bit of advice.

It takes time to really try out different backgrounds and get used to the frequency of mobs/stuff popping up (or not) in the setting. A fair bit of the game is also just figuring out about how much training you need to use various things "just well enough" to help a given character through the area you're in, until you need another "trick" for another region and then the problem repeats itself.

Without a lot of experience, it can be hard just to foresee what you're somehow "supposed" to be training to deal with the next big challenge. It's not just because there are so many classes and situations, but the drops vary enough with game that it takes a bunch of playing to really adapt. Starting out, you do want to keep looking to fill your weaknesses though. Always think about what's missing: Is it the big melee brute that slams this sort of character? Is it missiles, hexes, poison or fast-moving bees swarms? Take note of what level that kind of threat started appearing around, and try to plug up that hole on similar characters later -- at least a little, wherever you can. Or where you just don't see that sort of species getting better at that problem, try to back off and stay away from areas where they appear until much later.

Every so often, you get an amazing artifact and that might also help you to get a better grasp of mechanics as you see more of the extreme possibilities.

A few odd character ideas: Troll monks can be insanely strong, but they have a bump right in the middle where they struggle to get serious armor, ranged, and general defense up. Gargoyles have pretty amazing defenses (both armor and less need to fill in resistances, which is a biggie starting out too) and can throw around Earth magic if you like some of that. Deep elves are actually wicked offensive casters, but you've gotta be able to pull back at the right times or they tend to get smashed at levels before they gain stronger AOE. Hill orcs don't uber up as quickly as some, but they have an amazing choice of heavy weapons they can train (often cross-train) and they can pick up all sorts of armor too. Minotaurs are also good with big weapons and a bit more charge into the fray, if you don't care about magic much at all. Deity-wise, Trog's berserk, Oka's Heroism, or Makhleb's low-level summon are a few examples of near-spammable offense that can pull you through.
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Halls Hopper

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Post Wednesday, 24th May 2017, 02:58

Re: Why do I suck so badly at this game?

Try being a hill orc berserker. Their natural aptitudes are insane and will help you keep an edge on monsters. Trog will help you smash anything difficult with brothers in arms. Like everyone said above make sure your being a coward. CAMP THE STAIRS, and press five after every fight.

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