Trog vs. Okawaru


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Snake Sneak

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Post Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 02:12

Trog vs. Okawaru

What are people's thoughts on Trog vs. Okawaru for melee characters?

It seems to be common wisdom that Berserker (i.e. Trog) is the easiest way to win.
In my experience that isn't so (I've won with Oka, but have never even come close with Trog).

IMO, the main disadvantage with Trog is that your bread-and-butter ability, berserk, while powerful, has some downsides:
- Certain actions, like reading scrolls, are disabled while it's in effect, thus disabling some panic buttons.
- If it wears off mid-fight, you cannot reboot it
- If it wears off mid-fight, it leaves you slowed, and therefore vulnerable.

The bread-and-butter Okawaru ability, Heroism, has none of these downsides.

Thoughts?

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Post Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 02:48

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

Berserk increases your damage by a lot more than heroism does, which is especially important during the hardest part of the game.
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Post Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 02:52

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

What do you consider the hardest part of the game?

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Post Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 02:53

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

D:1-Lair

In the broader context of the game, we can compare Trog and Oka along other lines as well. BiA allies are really strong, often better than finesse but also more expensive. Trog is more likely to give you a relevant gift than Oka. Berserker as a background exists whereas Okawaru on D:1 usually does not. Trog's hand exists. Okawaru lets you use spells. Depending on what you're trying to do, skill level, etc, some of these things might be important. You could plausibly make a case that Okawaru is easier to play than Trog because there's less buttons to press and using heroism at the wrong time doesn't kill you in the same way that a bad berserk decision can, but from a strict power level context Trog is better and berserk doing more damage than heroism is the main reason for that.
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Post Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 03:10

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

Another issue with Okawaru that gets glossed over is that sometimes that high-experience-value monster that gives you nonzero piety just doesn't generate, leaving you without even Heroism for an extended period of time. This is worst on species with high XL aptitudes but it can happen even on Ds.
Okawaru is pretty bad in comparison to Trog, Kiku, Nemelex, Gozag, etc.

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Post Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 03:26

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

Hellmonk wrote:D:1-Lair


Hmmmm....berserk has got me killed in the early game more than once. If it wears off, it leaves you vulnerable, and in the early game you often don't have a reliable escape item yet. I've often had to resort to using unidentified potions/scrolls in that scenario, which is a gamble.

duvessa wrote:Another issue with Okawaru that gets glossed over is that sometimes that high-experience-value monster that gives you nonzero piety just doesn't generate, leaving you without even Heroism for an extended period of time. This is worst on species with high XL aptitudes but it can happen even on Ds.
Okawaru is pretty bad in comparison to Trog, Kiku, Nemelex, Gozag, etc.


My spamming of Heroism often causes Finesse to be unavailable, but I don't remember Heroism itself ever going away once it was online.
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Slime Squisher

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Post Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 04:11

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

Okawaru is underrated, especially as a god for weaker players. Heroism doesn't give you as much damage as berserk, but it does give you a lot more control over a fight (you still get better damage and attack rate, higher defenses, and obviously no constraints on movement or magic/item use), which makes a big difference for some players. The situation where you berserk and get in trouble because you misjudged the position basically doesn't happen with better players, but it certainly does with beginners.

Trog and Gozag are probably generically better for all players, Nemelex is definitely better if you know what you're doing, and Kiku is somewhat better if you know what you're doing, but Oka is pretty damn good even if the only thing you know is "use heroism in every nontrivial fight."
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Post Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 04:14

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

Berserk also costs literally nothing instead of heroism, which while cheap, isn't free. (You need to spend some small amount of piety to use heroism, and you need to invest some XP into invocation)

Berserk is also an offensive bonus on par with heroism *plus* finesse. (It's actually slightly, but not much, worse in the usual case. It can also be better for certain very specific cases)

Berserk, however is definitely not without it's drawbacks, and there's some subtleties in knowing how and when to use it safely, more so later in the game when the threats are less straightforward.

I don't know that I would call either Berserk or Heroism "bread and butter" as through the parts of the game I spend more time on (mid to later) I end up using Finesse and BiA more often (Heroism isn't as good if you already have enough XP to give yourself Min delay with your primary weapon(s) and Berserk is much more situational late game, BiA is pretty much just a straitforward no-brainer way to kill things that need some some extra firepower, and keeps being useful until the end of the game.

Plus Trog also gives you trog's hand and brothers in arms, which don't completely make up for the lack of spellcasting, but help a lot. Getting those things with no XP investment, is *really* good.

I would say that Trog is way *simpler* to win with, you don't have to micromanage nearly as much, you don't have to think about what spells to get/use/train for, you don't have to balance your XP expenditure, and Trog gives you all the tools you need to manage all the dangerous threats in a 3 rune game.

IMO, which one is actually *easier* to win with, (once you've become accustomed to all the complexities of the game, and simplicity doesn't really effect you) is pretty much a toss up, they rely on slightly different skills and have a different emphasis, so it's a little harder to compare them directly. I would say if you are going to adhere to a spell-less conduct anyway, Trog gives you more power to work with.

Note that being a Berserker is not the same as just worshipping Trog. Berserkers are easier to win with simply because you *start with* trog; you get his benefits so much sooner, and during a part of the game when you don't have a lot of other options to help you out of difficult situations. If there was a background that started with Oka, It'd be interesting to compare it with a Berserker.
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Post Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 04:54

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

I prefer Oka to Trog overall. A few reasons:

Oka can gift armour, which is a permanent upgrade in many cases, even if you choose to leave. Defense is generally more important than offense. Trog will only gift weapons. There are several low level spells which even most melee characters can cast to enormous effect, such as plain blink spell. Losing access to all spells is a steep price. Trogs summons are nice, but I'm pretty sure they will also steal xp as most summons do (I could be corrected here though I'm not 100% positive.) I can't *ever* recall a time when I couldn't afford to use heroism because I was low on piety. By contrast, I can recall many times when I had the berserk flag (and possibly slowed) but was caught off guard and needed it. Berserk is powerful, but it's also dangerous because of the slow. You can be put in dangerous situations almost all the time no matter how much you try to avoid it, and having the slow flag can be quite dangerous. Then you have finesse working with throwing. There are other reasons but that's all I'm going into for now.

I'm not going to say Trog is weak, it's one of the more powerful gods in the game, and there are some cases where it's better than Oka depending on gear and circumstances, but Oka is really very good in a lot more situations.

That all being said, Gozag is by far the best god to open with, better than either Oka or Trog.

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Slime Squisher

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Post Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 04:58

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

re: Siegurt's comment above, Heroism is consistently powerful throughout a normal 3-5 rune game. Many players over-train heroism-eligible skills, especially shield and weapon skills (also occasionally and more worryingly, you see players approaching max with physical skills, which is also bad, even for fighting imo), then mistakenly conclude that heroism has become less useful later in the game. This is an error on the player's part -- they should have trained so that they hit breakpoints only with heroism active.

Heroism's usefulness only declines with correct skill allocation in extended or ziggurat games. A normal 3-5 rune game does not have enough experience to swamp out the benefit of heroism with skill allocation as I describe above.
This is where mechanical excellence and one-thousand four-hundred horsepower pays off.

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Post Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 05:15

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

tealizard wrote:re: Siegurt's comment above, Heroism is consistently powerful throughout a normal 3-5 rune game. Many players over-train heroism-eligible skills, especially shield and weapon skills (also occasionally and more worrying, you see players approaching max with physical skills, which is also bad, even for fighting imo) then mistakenly conclude that heroism has become less useful later in the game. This is an error on the player's part -- they should have trained so that they hit breakpoints only with heroism active.

Heroism's usefulness only declines with correct skill allocation in extended or ziggurat games. A normal 3-5 rune game does not have enough experience to swamp out the benefit of heroism with skill allocation as I describe above.

Well, I find, personally, if I don't train any skills above min-delay-5 that I end up using heroism enough that I run out of piety sometime in the vaults/depths area of the game. That's probably because I play too slowly/conservatively and waste too many turns, and as a result my natural rate of piety gain with Oka isn't fast enough to make up for using heroism quite that often, so I typically overtrain some once I have some utility spells on hand. I should also point out that I also lean heavily towards shield+one handers with Oka (I don't know why, but I skew heavily that way) which changes the XP cost for getting to min delay significantly.
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Slime Squisher

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Post Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 05:39

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

That sounds strange to me. The way I remember this, you should be able to use heroism 150-200 times in a 3 rune game without going below ***** for extended stretches after you've gotten it, even on a weaker species, e.g. mummy.
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Post Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 06:11

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

Why use Okawaru?
He is simple to play with. Great god for someone's first 3-rune win. His abilities are simply boosts to your fighting potential, so even the most newbiest of players can understand and successfully utilize the powers.
He can gift great weapons and armor. I've had games where I've gone though much of the late game with his gifts. Basically makes it much more likely you'll end up with good gear in the long run.
Also, if you're going ranged, you'll never have to worry about running out of ammunition. I've never played a ranged run without Oka, so I don't know if ammo is a concern without him.


Why use Trog?
Also a simple god, but a bit more nuanced. You need to be careful when you use your berserk ability and it's easy to get yourself screwed. His summons are fantastic. Don't forget that summons aren't just for killing things. They can be also used as an escape mechanism in tight corridors. They block the way.
The downside is - no magic, and even the beefiest of warriors can sometimes make use of some simple spells.
He gifts mostly throwables, so he's great if you plan to throw a lot. Especially if you can throw large rocks. He's great for trolls.
Trog has more obvious downsides than Okawaru, but if you're aware of them, it's very easy to avoid them and exploit the fantastic up sides.

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Post Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 06:44

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

Siegurt wrote:IMO, which one is actually *easier* to win with, (once you've become accustomed to all the complexities of the game, and simplicity doesn't really effect you) is pretty much a toss up, they rely on slightly different skills and have a different emphasis, so it's a little harder to compare them directly. I would say if you are going to adhere to a spell-less conduct anyway, Trog gives you more power to work with.

Note that being a Berserker is not the same as just worshipping Trog. Berserkers are easier to win with simply because you *start with* trog; you get his benefits so much sooner, and during a part of the game when you don't have a lot of other options to help you out of difficult situations. If there was a background that started with Oka, It'd be interesting to compare it with a Berserker.

I didn't really make it clear in my original post, but I was talking about which one was easier for an inexperienced player to win with.
Also, you're right, playing berserker is not the same as merely worshipping Trog. In hindsight, I've conflated 2 distinct, but related ideas:

1. Okawaru is a safer choice than Trog for inexperienced players:
Use (or misuse) of berserk can get you killed. That's not the case with Okawaru's abilities, except perhaps if you spammed heroism to the point where it was unavailable when you needed it most.

2. Berserker may not be the easiest character for an inexperienced player to win with.
Two points here:
Firstly, the above-mentioned point about berserk being potentially dangerous.
Secondly, berserker has worse starting equipment than fighter. Especially, in terms of starting armour, which can help you stay alive in the early game.
For those reasons, IMHO it's easier for an inexperienced player to win by playing fighter and worshipping Okawaru.
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Post Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 07:14

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

It's definitely better for beginning players to learn and get their first win by playing berserkers than by playing fighters and going Okawaru. All beginners should play MiBe until they win, then try other things. "Inexperienced" is like less than 10 wins.
This is where mechanical excellence and one-thousand four-hundred horsepower pays off.

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Post Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 07:21

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

tealizard wrote:It's definitely better for beginning players to learn and get their first win by playing berserkers than by playing fighters and going Okawaru.

"Better" is not the same as "easier", but anyway, why do you think berserker is better?
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Post Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 08:11

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

Alright, then I will say it is both better and easier.

Berserker is the strongest background by a wide margin. It is impossible for a good player to get killed in dcss's early game as a non-mummy berserker. Whatever advantages oka has in simplicity and so on, they are outweighed by the fact that a berserker can use berserk from the very beginning of the game. That by itself means that the beginner will play fewer games before winning as something like MiBe than any other combo. They'll also gain more insight into melee tactics and character building this way, since berserk requires more careful judgement of combat position as the game progresses and Trog's magic conduct prevents a lot of things inexperienced players try to do with magic skills.

In my view, the progression from beginner to good player is about learning to win a straightforward, melee-only character like a typical MiBe and progressing to being able to consistently win shitty, generic combos, stuff like DsVM or MuFi, consistently, like more than 80% of the time. A big part of that transition is learning how to take maximum advantage of early altars. That's where understanding the relative strengths of gods like oka, nemelex, kiku, etc. matter.
This is where mechanical excellence and one-thousand four-hundred horsepower pays off.

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Post Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 09:19

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

Thanks for the reply.
You may be right that berserker is a better learning opportunity.

However, I still maintain that fighter of Okawaru is an easier win for a noob.
In my own case, I've played berserker 33 times (including 27 MiBe) and never even come close to winning (most have died before Lair, or even before Temple).
Whereas I've played fighter 13 times, and probably only about half those worshipped Okawaru, but out of that I've had one MiFi of Okawaru win and one GrFi of Okawaru come close (got killed on orb run).
As a noob, I've had waaaaaay more success as a fighter of Okawaru than as a berserker, even MiBe, which is supposed to be the easiest character.

Berserker gives you more opportunities to fatally screw up, and we noobs are apt to avail ourselves of such opportunities.
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Slime Squisher

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Post Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 10:37

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

I would personally lean towards Trog for an easier win. Aside from berserk, which is a great way to learn about overextending, you gain a piety-powered MR++. Some of the worst early and mid threats will screw you over with resistible effects, and Trog gives a cheap way to nullify them. While Okawaru does drastically increase your own combat potential, Trog (at high piety) allows for three or four berserk summons to obliterate anything up to uniques, Panlords included.
Another advantage of taking a berserker for a n00b win is how completely streamlined your skilling is. Fighting, main weapon skill, armour, dodging. Put in some evocations and throwing and you're set. Trog is also the only god that skews book acquirements to an almost guaranteed good result, in a recent game I got a manual of Staves (main weapon) and another was for Armour.
Also, the antimagic endgame weapon gifts. Those speak for themselves 8-)
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Post Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 10:39

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

MrDizzy wrote:In my own case, I've played berserker 33 times (including 27 MiBe) and never even come close to winning (most have died before Lair, or even before Temple).

Maybe you don't lure monsters enough? You should try to make every fight 1-to-1 in a corridor. There must be something fundamental in your tactics that causes this MiBe-splatting.
...{MfWnMiAK}TeAMDrIE{FoVMVSFi}{MuVMGhGlVpMo}HaWrSpWz{OgGlTrMo}{CeWnMfBeMiSk}DrEE
{GrFiFoGl}DgEnFeNe{OpGlHuSu}DDArHaCKSpAEGrTmDgFEDsCjGhMoHuVM{HaAMBaEn}{HuMoHOWn}DsWz
DDHu{DgWnGnBe}FeIE{MiEnMfCj}SpNeBaEEGrFE{HaAKTrCK}DsFESpHu{FoArNaBe}FeEE{HOIEMiAE}GrGl

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Post Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 11:13

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

Sprucery wrote:Maybe you don't lure monsters enough? You should try to make every fight 1-to-1 in a corridor.

Thanks for the advice, but I do know about basic tactics like luring monsters, fighting 1:1 in corridors, stair dancing, kill holes, etc.

Sprucery wrote:There must be something fundamental in your tactics that causes this MiBe-splatting.

Almost certainly, but my point is I can win as fighter of Okawaru even with those flaws....

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Post Sunday, 3rd March 2019, 01:37

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

MrDizzy wrote:
Sprucery wrote:Maybe you don't lure monsters enough? You should try to make every fight 1-to-1 in a corridor.

Thanks for the advice, but I do know about basic tactics like luring monsters, fighting 1:1 in corridors, stair dancing, kill holes, etc.

Sprucery wrote:There must be something fundamental in your tactics that causes this MiBe-splatting.

Almost certainly, but my point is I can win as fighter of Okawaru even with those flaws....

It's entirely plausible that you've learned some things about the game (or brought in knowledge from previous experience) which is more suitable to playing with Oka than it is to playing with Trog. Nobody is an entirely blank slate when they start.

I'm certain that the reverse is true for some other new players (That they can win Trog fighters and not Oka fighters) which is more frequently true would be a fairly hard thing to come up with a definitive answer to.
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Post Sunday, 3rd March 2019, 09:57

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

When I started playing, I was able to win with a deep elf caster, while I tried to win with minotaur berserkers and fighters as well. What experienced players regard as easy and what a beginner succeeds with is two different things.

This is actually why I found honest simple advice from experienced players so helpful, like "berserkers are easy", and "the hard part of the game is before lair", or "level 9 spells often do not worth it in a 3 rune game". They contradicted my beginner intuition, thus helped me realized why I evaluate the game in a wrong way.

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Post Monday, 4th March 2019, 21:50

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

tealizard wrote:It's definitely better for beginning players to learn and get their first win by playing berserkers than by playing fighters and going Okawaru. All beginners should play MiBe until they win, then try other things. "Inexperienced" is like less than 10 wins.


It really depends on the beginner. My first win was MuVM of Hep, though I wouldn't advocate this for anybody else it pushed my threat evaluation, xp priority, and integration of spells into a build as earlier learning points. Won with NaAs of Oka before finally doing something "easy" and wining HoFi of Beogh.

I consider Trog stronger. Berserk can be constrained to controlled fights, where it is excellent. Unlike almost any other god, Trog can not only carry bad encounters with battle brothers but also provide MR.

There are many games with 1 or 0 sources of possible MR before vaults/elf, and some of these still have only armor MR available after going into depths. This means that a random character can got tossed to abyss early, paralyzed, or chain confused if attempting these areas...and at some point you'll have nowhere else to go.

Trog just gives you a hand and then you can ignore it while healing faster than usual, all with 0 xp investment into invocations. Oka is a decent choice but doesn't straight up carry to the same degree as other options.
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Post Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 01:20

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

I don't know what to make of these comments about people's personal experience. I am making a general aggregate statement on how best to learn crawl, which I base not on my personal experience but on observation of a lot people learning to play crawl. "I did X, therefore X is good/as good as anything else," really doesn't do it for me as an argument or even as a statement about learning from experience. I see a lot more potential in a statement like "I made a lot of bad characters using generic combos/arbitrary self-imposed conducts when I started and it took a while to get the hang of things, but I recognize now that that was a suboptimal way to learn."

Of course, there are factors in learning crawl beyond what combo/god/general strategy the player uses. Watching other players, especially good players, and getting their advice/commentary on your game and their own play is more valuable just playing the right beginner combos. But if you're on a desert island playing crawl on a computer made of coconuts and you need to win in as few games as possible without ever having played before, you ought to check out the docs and play MiBe.
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Post Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 18:59

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

I will go so far as to say that species/background choice is *mostly* irrelevant and players should pick what they want (or think they want).

Players are going to die a lot in this game. Players that continually identify and adjust for mistakes will win before long. Players who don't have played hundreds of attempts on and off for years and still haven't won with a single combination, from MiBe to MuCK.

Starting tools have pluses and minuses. MiBe is strong and lets a relatively weaker player see more of the game on average, but it also skews threat evaluation; this player is likely to struggle for a bit longer when transitioning to species with poor gear choices and/or bad HP, wondering why they lose a 1v1 to a spiny frog or black mamba.

If you're looking to win in as few attempts as possible MiBe is a very good choice, possibly the best choice. If you're trying to improve/learn rapidly and don't care about whether you'll win this particular run, it's not so clear-cut.
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Post Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 05:34

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

I'd still take a gargoyle fighter over a minotaur berserker.
Permanent upgrades such as found on gifted artefact armour can contain MR++ and/or regen, are on all the time without needing to use invocations. Even if several gifted items aren't useful, all it takes is one good item to add a lot to your overall strength as a character. Getting good artefact items as soon as possible help you with deciding which way to build and gear your character, which has a lot of other cascading benefits.

As for the opening game, you don't need an extreme offense. It can't be delivered without a good defense anyhow. What you want is an awesome defense and to lure/chip away at enemies with an unskilled venom, draining and electric dagger (for example), until you have a clearer picture of what to train and the worthwhile items in hand already. Berserk doubles your health, but beyond that it's very dangerous since you cannot read teleport or blink scrolls. More steady defense from better gear and better skills and more escape options is a safer bet.

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Post Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 06:27

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

My 2 cents:

In you know a god well, that god will almost certainly produce better results than a god you don't know. As a prime example, take Tasonir: he knows Chei very well and in his hands Chei almost looks good. Almost. :D

If you know Oka well, and think that Trog is like Oka only with berserk instead of heroism, well, that ain't gonna go well. I think it's worth learning Trog, because he's a strong and fun god.

One more thing: picking Oka for a spell-less character is a bit odd to me. Oka gives pretty little there, I say Trog is definitely better. And Makhleb. And Hep.

And one more thing: in my experience, useful gifts by Oka are pretty rare. "Artefact armour that contains MR++" (and good) is astronomically unlikely.

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Post Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 07:01

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

Magipi wrote:One more thing: picking Oka for a spell-less character is a bit odd to me. Oka gives pretty little there, I say Trog is definitely better. And Makhleb. And Hep.


It depends on the spell-less character. For ranged character like CeHu Oka is superior to every other god because of Finesse (and almost guaranteed barding among other gifts). Berserk does not do much for CeHu and even Trog's hand or BiA are not that great when you can just escape with your high speed.
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Post Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 11:07

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

Magipi wrote:And one more thing: in my experience, useful gifts by Oka are pretty rare.

My personal experience is (checked my last 3 Okawaru winners) that I get 1 or 2 armour gifts which I use in the end. Often they are not anything too special, maybe just gloves of strength/dexterity, but still.
Whether that means 'rare' is of course a matter of definition :)

(But yeah, Trog is better, because berserk.)
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Post Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 13:33

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

tealizard wrote:I don't know what to make of these comments about people's personal experience. I am making a general aggregate statement on how best to learn crawl ...


I do not really understand what is so hard to understand.

It has been said multiple times that berserkers are very strong and probably better for a beginner as well. The personal experiences are to show the OP (and others) that despite this fact, succeeding with something else, even if you do try to win MiBe first, is not rare.

Best to learn is always a way that you enjoy, and many players may get bored with berserkers after 50 failed attempt and want to try something else. I guess for some AI it could be best to learn the game by repeatedly trying MiBe, but humans learn differently.

Also, the personal experiences underline some knowledge, that I would have wanted to know as a beginner, and the OP question seems to ask:

- proper tactics are way more important than strategy. You can win with horribly weak characters with proper tactics, and die with very strong ones with weak tactics. You will be successful with a character where you figured out acceptable tactics for that character (even if the basics are not that different between different characters). You will lose with characters where you have not figured out such tactics yet.
- that is one reason why your intuition as a beginner about what combination is strong is very biased by the runs you are successful with. Once your tactics improve you will be able to evaluate the comparative strength of different characters better.

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Post Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 13:38

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

Also let's not forget the simple fact that when playing with ranged attack (be it missiles or spells), new players don't make mistake of rushing into monsters. As far as I remember I didn't even know about luring tactics when won first time. And I am sure I didn't know/care about noise. When playing "primarily spellcasters" you are naturally encouraged to retreat often because you run out of MP.
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Post Thursday, 7th March 2019, 18:00

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

Trog all the way. Besides the obvious early benefit of going beserk, BIA is laughably good. The trick is to call in your brothers when you see a hard fight as opposed to waiting until the fight has already started. That requires one to recognize what is a hard fight which is difficult for beginners. Also, Trog's hand is all the MR you will ever need, and it essentially negating the effects of an early poisoning. Lack of MR early and being poisoned are, relatively speaking, two of the less avoidable ways to die.

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Post Thursday, 7th March 2019, 19:31

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

hawkwood wrote:Trog all the way. Besides the obvious early benefit of going beserk, BIA is laughably good. The trick is to call in your brothers when you see a hard fight as opposed to waiting until the fight has already started. That requires one to recognize what is a hard fight which is difficult for beginners. Also, Trog's hand is all the MR you will ever need, and it essentially negating the effects of an early poisoning. Lack of MR early and being poisoned are, relatively speaking, two of the less avoidable ways to die.


Lack of MR is relatively common too. Lately I've had 1 in 3 games have "none" or "only in chest armor slot" by the time I'm forced to pick between Elf, Depths, and Vaults. Other than Trog, you can sort of get by with Ashenzari's clarity in shoals and such, but very few gods offer the reliability Trog does.

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Post Friday, 8th March 2019, 14:20

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

I'd nominate TrMo as a better beginner start these days than MiFi or MiBe. Instead of simplifying out god choice (which is interesting and engaging), it simplifies out weapon, armour and skilling (which all are less interesting and have some newbie-traps.) It teaches pillar dancing via fast regen. And these days, you don't even have a weak midgame; there are quite a lot of light dragon armours and troll leather sources in the game, and your starting dex is high enough that you'll have good dodging.

For gods, Oka or Trog are fair enough god picks, but so are Hep, Nem, etc. And you instantly get to pick up and start playing with whichever god you choose, and so quickly get a feel for it.
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Post Friday, 8th March 2019, 17:33

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

byrel wrote:I'd nominate TrMo as a better beginner start these days than MiFi or MiBe.

I really hope that you are just kidding.

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Post Sunday, 10th March 2019, 14:59

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

magipi wrote:I really hope that you are just kidding.

Nope. I really hope you'll respond to my opinion with something substantive.
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Post Sunday, 10th March 2019, 21:22

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

Trolls are not beginner-friendly at all. Even if you find a good dragon armor, your defenses will be pretty bad (because you are large, and have no gloves, boots). And if you find no dragon armor, your defenses will be horrible. You have to fight enemies one at a time, and assess dangers accurately - and beginners are not good at those things.

I'd say that even an average berserker like HuBe is significantly easier than any troll. A MiBe is in another dimension.

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Post Monday, 11th March 2019, 00:00

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

Troll monks have decent dodging scaling (because they start with a decent amount of dex and will never suffer from too heavy of armour), great shield scaling, and have gained a lot of midgame armour options since I first started playing. Three years ago, I'd have agreed with your assessment. Now... they're really not stuck in robes very often at all. And of course, there's the obvious point that +30% HP, 3 AC and regen is a lot of defense in and of itself.

(I know that large size decreases dodging returns, but it's only by 1/11th; you still get good returns if you have good dex. Monks start with decent dex and end up with good dex as you raise it.)

Combine that with starting with an excellent endgame weapon and having an easy game till your god is fully online, and you really don't have a weak race at all.
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Post Monday, 11th March 2019, 00:32

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

byrel wrote:Troll monks have decent dodging scaling (because they start with a decent amount of dex and will never suffer from too heavy of armour), great shield scaling, and have gained a lot of midgame armour options since I first started playing. Three years ago, I'd have agreed with your assessment. Now... they're really not stuck in robes very often at all. And of course, there's the obvious point that +30% HP, 3 AC and regen is a lot of defense in and of itself.

(I know that large size decreases dodging returns, but it's only by 1/11th; you still get good returns if you have good dex. Monks start with decent dex and end up with good dex as you raise it.)

Combine that with starting with an excellent endgame weapon and having an easy game till your god is fully online, and you really don't have a weak race at all.

"Not weak" isn't the same as "newbie freindly" although maybe we should define what that is, for me that means "doing the most obvious thing with no in depth knowledge of the game isn't too counterproductive" and "is somewhat forgiving when common newbie mistakes are made"

Monks don't get *any* immediate or obvious advantages, and using their advantage (without an in-depth knowledge of what gods do) isn't something a novice will immediately or obviously understand, much less be able to take advantage of.

Trolls get a great weapon good hps, and bad defense out of the gate, newbies tend to die a lot by charging in and dying because they don't understand basic tactics, trolls provide nothing to soften that at all, with halfway decent tactics trolls are pretty strong, with *bad* tactics they're weaker than another race that can at least wear body armour.

If you're going to start a newbie with a troll, TrFi at least goes somewhat of the way towards helping with that, as you pair their excellent starting weapon with some SH defense, TrBe pairs their offense at the start with berserk, which at least is a way to reduce the damage taken by using bad tactics (although it's obviously a dangerous tool for newbies to use before they understand it). TrHu is also not a bad newbie background, because throwing stones at stuff to kill things in the early D actually encourages better tactics, and also helps prevent some of the damage you'd otherwise suffer from charging in. TrMo starts with..... a slightly higher dex that gives them maybe 1 more point of EV to start, which will not do anything to help soften early bad decisions.

Troll isn't a terrible newbie race, but it's not awesome either, it's maybe somewhat above average, Mo is a terrible starting newbie background, it gives no guidance and no obvious and immediate path to success for a newbie to follow, and gives them no advantages they can use to soften the blow of early tactical mistakes out of the box. None of that says that TrMo is a *weak combo* (no troll is actually *weak*, I guess maybe if you don't attack with melee), it's just that newbies don't understand how to safely take advantage of the strengths and weaknesses inherent in a TrMo start.

You have to remember that new players rarely make it *to* the lair, their entire game experience is D:1-7 or so, getting to the temple is a milestone, getting into the lair is pretty much the graduation from "novice" to "inexperienced player" in that context, of course trolls will be in robes the entire time, getting a shield from the ground is pretty uncommon, and finding your preferred god is by no means guaranteed, and you certainly aren't going to be able get a lot of use out them yet.

Once you're an "inexperienced player" you should have enough knowledge that branching out into all different sorts of characters is pretty reasonable.
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Post Monday, 11th March 2019, 07:30

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

Also let's not forget about UC, weapon aptitudes and god gifts. Mi can use +9 flail of electro on D:9 and then easily switch to +11 broadaxe of speed which Trog/Okawaru gifts on L:3 while as Tr new players will be disappointed every time they receive a weapon gift or find a good weapon on the floor.

Edit. It looks like I am talking about new players which are "inexperienced" ones in Siegurt's classification.
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Post Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 12:51

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

I was also primarily considering Siegurt's inexperienced players. For new players, Mo is pretty much strictly suboptimal. I think god variety is pretty important to the 'inexperienced' stage.

Re: being disappointed in Oka gifts... that's inevitable. The game gives everyone but gnolls lots of nice stuff they can't use. I don't think it's much of a downside to any race.
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Post Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 13:01

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

byrel wrote:Re: being disappointed in Oka gifts... that's inevitable. The game gives everyone but gnolls lots of nice stuff they can't use. I don't think it's much of a downside to any race.


There is still important difference. As Tr you will be disappointed by the fact of receiving a gift, especially if you use throwing because it slows your piety increase and slows down missile gifts.
By the way I am playing OgHu who does not use melee (uses Throwing instead) and I am excited every time I receive an artefact from Oka because I am arguably better than gnoll in using weapons. So far I have been using halberd (rPois), greatsword (rF+), dagger (MR+), the only disappointment was with a nice sling (with rC++ while I was rC- because of amulet) which prevents throwing stones.
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Post Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 15:46

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

VeryAngryFelid wrote:
byrel wrote:Re: being disappointed in Oka gifts... that's inevitable. The game gives everyone but gnolls lots of nice stuff they can't use. I don't think it's much of a downside to any race.


There is still important difference. As Tr you will be disappointed by the fact of receiving a gift, especially if you use throwing because it slows your piety increase and slows down missile gifts.
By the way I am playing OgHu who does not use melee (uses Throwing instead) and I am excited every time I receive an artefact from Oka because I am arguably better than gnoll in using weapons. So far I have been using halberd (rPois), greatsword (rF+), dagger (MR+), the only disappointment was with a nice sling (with rC++ while I was rC- because of amulet) which prevents throwing stones.

I can't imagine being more disappointed by needles than the -5 cloak of Okawaru's Favor {rF---, Str+10}.

And... I can't imagine being more excited for weapon artifacts on a non-weapon user. I find DPS increases more exciting than another swappable resistance for my third ring slot.
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Post Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 16:38

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

Actually I was talking about weapons and comparing Tr to Mi/HO. Oka's gifts are guaranteed to be wearable so there is no difference in disappoinments for those species about armour gifts. For Tr every weapon gift is a disappoinment with 100% chance, for other species who don't use UC and have good weapon aptitudes the chance is really far from 100%. That's all I am trying to point at.
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Post Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 17:22

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

Ah, OK. Sure, weapon gifts specifically are worse on Trolls. But I don't really think that's a good argument against TrMo; it only affects 2 gods, and only a tiny portion of their power.
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Post Wednesday, 13th March 2019, 00:20

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

Generally speaking, I think that Trog is stronger, because, while taking magic away, it lets you dump a million skill points into evo.

However, I would play a large species with Oka, simply because of the odd armour requirements. You can get dragon armour, as well as bardings, which adds a lot to your survivability.

Otherwise, rage is incredibly strong, if somewhat traitorous. Heroism is perceivable, but nowhere near that game-changing. Finesse gives you only one of the benefits of rage, and its use is limited by piety (although you are unlikely to run out). Trog's Hand gives you a bonus that is difficult to obtain, and BiA gives you useful, highly destructive meatshields.

However, Trog has a great weakness, which is repetitiveness. From this point of view, Oka leaves many doors open.
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Post Thursday, 14th March 2019, 02:36

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

Siegurt wrote:You have to remember that new players rarely make it *to* the lair, their entire game experience is D:1-7 or so, getting to the temple is a milestone, getting into the lair is pretty much the graduation from "novice" to "inexperienced player"
Good thing trolls are really really good at getting to Temple and Lair, then.

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Post Thursday, 14th March 2019, 09:43

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

duvessa wrote:
Siegurt wrote:You have to remember that new players rarely make it *to* the lair, their entire game experience is D:1-7 or so, getting to the temple is a milestone, getting into the lair is pretty much the graduation from "novice" to "inexperienced player"
Good thing trolls are really really good at getting to Temple and Lair, then.


Indeed. Trolls are a trap. They are extremely easy in reaching Temple/Lair but then they die to hydra or in Lair branches/Vaults because of awfully low AC/MR (talking about new players here). So after dying as Tr new players should start a Mi and get to Lair just easily (comparing to Tr's extremely easily) but then have much easier time middle/late game than Tr would have.
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Post Thursday, 14th March 2019, 13:28

Re: Trog vs. Okawaru

VeryAngryFelid wrote:Indeed. Trolls are a trap. They are extremely easy in reaching Temple/Lair but then they die to hydra or in Lair branches/Vaults because of awfully low AC/MR (talking about new players here). So after dying as Tr new players should start a Mi and get to Lair just easily (comparing to Tr's extremely easily) but then have much easier time middle/late game than Tr would have.


This is a lot less true than it used to be. First... they're only missing body armour for a slot that could be branded MR. They can use MR hats, rings and cloaks, which is the majority of MR sources. So I don't think they have particularly low MR in Lair (and what checks MR in Lair? Basilisks, which aren't that hard to deal with.)

For AC, steam/acid dragons and trolls are all decently common now, so you have a good shot at better-than-robes light armour. And if you go a start that doesn't sac dex and train a bit of dodging, you're going to have decent EV as well. Hydras will be tougher than average, but your regen makes pillar-dancing to chop heads with an untrained fire weapon quite viable (and that's ignoring large rocks, wands of acid, etc., which you probably have for dealing with a few hydras.)
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