DDFi of Makhleb help


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

Spider Stomper

Posts: 238

Joined: Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 04:18

Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 04:36

DDFi of Makhleb help

First post here on the forums, been lurking for a while and playing crawl on and off since 0.6. Recently, I introduced a few college friends to crawl and it's spread like wildfire on campus (currently known as the "Crawl virus" by the infected, play crawl -> grades go down). We have a friendly bet going for who can get the first win amongst our group and so I'm really trying to step up my game so to speak to win the illustrious prize of bragging rights.

I enjoy the DDFi (axes and worshiping Makhleb) and typically go a heavy armor route, and can fairly comfortably hit XL12 without trouble, with my best character hitting XL15 before falling to some foolish mistakes on my part. I've seen some discussion here about shields tapering off on their usefulness as you enter the end game and smite / torment become popular ways for enemies to kill you, so I'm curious if its worth investing heavily into the shields skill during the early/midgame (and consequently, devoting enchant armor scrolls to your shields). I also have seen a fairly popular opinion that two handers beat out "sword and board" style because you need (or at least greatly benefit from) the damage boost, but I have also seen posts saying the opposite, so my gut instinct seems to say it's player preference.

I also have some itemization questions. Given the choice, would it be preferable to have a vampiric weapon (for the additional healing) or a more damage focused brand? Can you rely on Makhleb's invocations and the various wands that you find to satisfy your magic needs or should I consider picking up some spells as I delve deeper into the dungeon and branches? If so, what spells in particular should I be looking for?

I understand some of this is game specific and varies from play to play, but I would appreciate any insight you can offer.

Cheers,
Southpaw

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 4055

Joined: Tuesday, 10th January 2012, 19:49

Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 05:16

Re: DDFi of Makhleb help

Personally I'd rather start a DDEE and just wear plate once I have LRD castable in it, it's a much easier start--you won't take as much damage since you're killing stuff from range--and you have some useful spells (and stoneskin in plate is pretty good).

Shields are ok, but honestly the biggest reason you'd take a shield is for ranged attacks imo and you can eliminate most of that problem by just being smarter with your positioning (there is not much that is faster than speed 10 that also has blockable ranged attacks). If you're already standing next to an enemy a twohander is better unless you have low skill in your weapon.

Vamp is a very good brand (probably the best against the majority of stuff you run into) on big weapons for any race, and even moreso on DD, but if you're going with Makhleb don't expect to find a useful vampiric weapon (Mak's healing is plenty good enough if you don't find one, but the real advantage of vamp weapons is that you will have less trouble killing stuff when you're healing yourself for 10 damage per hit or so).

You don't need to learn magic but you certainly can do so, especially since DD has pretty good apts so you don't need to put as much xp into weapon/armour/invo (more spare xp to go elsewhere). Obviously the useful charms are always good, earth spells are pretty easy to get running also because of the +3 apt.

Blades Runner

Posts: 599

Joined: Thursday, 28th April 2011, 07:47

Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 11:41

Re: DDFi of Makhleb help

LRD castable in plate? That is not really achievable in the levels the OP is playing at the moment.
Shields are plenty good, they use their usefulness in the post-endgame when torment, smite and hellfire are the main threats. This does not matter much in a 3 rune game, it is more of a style question there, i think.
If you don't follow Oka/Trog it also depends on what you find, if there is a nice executioner axe lying around i would forget about the 5 skillpoints in shields maybe.
I don't enchant shields usually, as the plus goes only to SH, but not to AC, but that depends on what shield you find.
Check out my characters at Spielersofa (in German)

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 4055

Joined: Tuesday, 10th January 2012, 19:49

Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 14:19

Re: DDFi of Makhleb help

It looks like I was wearing splint mail at XL13 in my last DDEE game (didn't have plate yet because I didn't have enough str). DD has such a ridiculously good earth apt that it's really not hard to get LRD in heavy armour at all.

Spider Stomper

Posts: 238

Joined: Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 04:18

Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 22:21

Re: DDFi of Makhleb help

In regards to skilling, and I fully understand this question probably has no "right" answer, should I be leaving all (or multiple) skills on simultaneously, or leave just one on to devote 100% experience to that skill until it reaches a comfortable level (i.e. get enough axes skill to attack at 100, get enough armor/shields that they stop interfering with your ability to attack, etc) and then switch to the next skill, and then the next, and so on?

Halls Hopper

Posts: 79

Joined: Thursday, 7th July 2011, 14:54

Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 23:22

Re: DDFi of Makhleb help

As far as shields go, I find them incredibly useful for a 3 rune game, only falling off in Zot. As a DDFI you will have skill points to spare because you really only need a few skills. Fighting, Weapon, Shield, Armor, T&D, Invocations, Evocations. Use the shield, leave the training on normal, and don't regret the points spent if you decide you don't need it later.

I don't really think you should worry about trying to get LRD castable in plate if you are still struggling with the dungeon at lvl 15. Just focus on threat recognition and not taking damage as a melee character. Use your wands, consumables, summons, ranged attacks in a way that minimizes the damage taken. The only use for Makhelb piety is summons and damage invocations so use it often. At lvl 12 when you have 25 AC, don't melee hydras, gila monsters, or hill giants. Summon, distract, and shoot. You should spend a lot of time running and softening up enemies. If you find yourself in melee with a full hp hill giant then you should summon minor demon-> swap places-> run to the stairs.

If you are going to pick up spells at all (you don't need them, but buffs like swiftness can be nice), they will come much easier after your armor skill gets in the 20's (negating a lot of the penalties). 8ish spellcasting levels will get most of the lvl 2 and lvl 3 buffs castable, even in CPM, with a 20 armor skill.

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