All these classes?


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Tomb Titivator

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Post Saturday, 5th February 2011, 03:47

All these classes?

There's very little difference between a fire elementalist, wizard with a fire book, and conjurer with a fire book. The same thing goes for a berserker and fighter chosing Trog... there seems to be a lot of redundancy in the classes. Is there something I'm not seeing? Has it always been like this?
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Saturday, 5th February 2011, 04:24

Re: All these classes?

Sure has. Its a little better than it used to be (though I do miss DSDk flavor). The slight differences and multiple choices between them mostly impact how your character starts the game, which is an ok problem to have if you ask me. There was a dev discussion I saw talking about removing the redundancy but I don't know what exactly they plan to do, if anything.
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Saturday, 5th February 2011, 04:35

Re: All these classes?

I'm not sure about the spellcasters you list, but there is a significant difference with fighters and berserkers.

Berserkers start with axes,
Can never branch out into magic
Start with a powerful god ability from the start
and get lousy equipment (animal skin) (but have more freedom to focus on EV rather than AC)

fighters get a choice of weapons,
can choose other gods and can branch into magic
have to wait until the temple or other altar to take on a god
get decent armour and shield and skills with both.

If one had to go, it would be berserker, but it's such a popular class that I don't see that happening.
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Saturday, 5th February 2011, 04:37

Re: All these classes?

The backgrounds are just a starting point- with the right gear and training any starting character can do anything any of the others can. This is part of the stated game philosophy. So in a sense, redundancy is intentional.

The only real difference between a fighter of Trog and a berserker is the 'zerker gets a head up on accumulating piety, and has better odds of surviving the first few floors, since he can 'zerk in a pinch. The only advantage the fighter has is some shields skill, and maybe better armor. In my book though, if you plan on worshiping any of the starting gods, you're best off getting them at the start (unless you plan on picking up TSO- starting as a paladin can be tough).

I'm not going to touch the caster differentiation question with a 29 and a half foot pole. That comes up again and again, and everyone gets opinionated and annoying about it. Accusations fly, differing backgrounds get decried and condemned for potential pruning, and hypothetical replacement spellbooks are dreamed up and tossed around. If you value your sanity, said discussions are best avoided. If you do want to jump in, take it to general game design, or check the dev wiki.

Edit: I keep getting ninja-ed today... :|

Blades Runner

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Post Saturday, 5th February 2011, 05:51

Re: All these classes?

Previous comments are on the mark.

One thing to add: When I first opened crawl and saw... what? 28 classes? And almost as many races? My first impression was bad. What kind of game needs to give so many options, when the good stuff should happen in gameplay? (My old-time RL favorite is Omega, where there were no races or classes but plenty of path to take.) As it turns out, a Crawl is very good and all the good stuff does happen in gameplay.

I'd love to see the backgrounds selected in two steps: First select warrior (fighter, gladiator, monk, assasin, hunter, artificer, wanderer), hybrid (crusader, reaver, warper, enchanter, transmuter, stalker, arcane marksman), zealot (Berzerker of Trog, Paladin of TSO, Priest of Zin/Yred/Beogh, CK of Xom/Makhleb/Lugonu), or mage(...); second select the background and spellbook. It would also make several background/spellbook combos look duplicitous, which I think does confuse newbies (like me). For example, after selecting "mage":

  Code:
Select your mage's specialization:
a - fire wizard
b - fire conjurer
c - fire elementalist
d - ice wizard
d - ice conjurer
f - ice elementalist
g - summoning wizard
h - summoner
i - air elementalist
j - earth elementalist
k - venom mage
l - necromancer


The tutorial is now really good, so that should help with newbies being bewildered by the myriad backgrounds.

Dungeon Master

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Post Saturday, 5th February 2011, 11:36

Re: All these classes?

There are various proposals to simplify the various magic backgrounds on the wiki - I'd definitely agree that there could afford to be a lot fewer choices, but it's a bit difficult because there are so many different ideas and it inevitably leads to wanting to change starting book contents too.
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Zot Zealot

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Post Saturday, 5th February 2011, 23:36

Re: All these classes?

I had been wondering recently in an idle sort of way... how is the difference between Fighter and Gladiator supposed to turn out?

The starting skills are fractionally different, and I guess the main difference would be be tween light and heavy armour, but in the early game (when classes matter) they seem to play the same way even though one of them has nets and the other is a little hardier - but not playing armoured fighters much, does it make that big a difference in play style? I've played a few of both, but not got consistently far enough with pure melee (except this one MDFi, an outlier to say the least) to really know what I'm talking about.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Sunday, 6th February 2011, 00:40

Re: All these classes?

Fighters are like a hunter that forgot to bring a real weapon, but tried to make up with it by taking a head start on gathering trash from the dungeon floor. The shield is their only remotely redeeming feature. Gladiators at least get their stack of throwing nets, which can really save them if you remember to use it. Equipment superior to the fighter's starting body armor and weapon will reliably spawn before the Temple.
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Sunday, 6th February 2011, 02:16

Re: All these classes?

smock wrote:Previous comments are on the mark.

One thing to add: When I first opened crawl and saw... what? 28 classes? And almost as many races? My first impression was bad. What kind of game needs to give so many options, when the good stuff should happen in gameplay?


To throw my hat into the ring, I remember finding the quantity of classes, even on the pre-Stone Soup Crawl, to be a good thing. Vanilla Angband I always shied away from due to the dearth of classes and races, and I would end up playing its more interesting variants. For the longest time I preferred SLASH'EM over Nethack because it had more of everything.

This might just be me, but I do like options ;)

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Blades Runner

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Post Monday, 7th February 2011, 17:09

Re: All these classes?

I think this all comes from my love of Omega. One class, one race, but each game you choose "guilds" (thieves, gladiator, sorcerers, paladins, gods, etc.) to join, some mutually exclusive, that do the same thing as backgrounds but IMHO much more elegantly.

Lair Larrikin

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Post Sunday, 13th March 2011, 00:35

Re: All these classes?

snow wrote:There's very little difference between a fire elementalist, wizard with a fire book, and conjurer with a fire book. The same thing goes for a berserker and fighter chosing Trog... there seems to be a lot of redundancy in the classes. Is there something I'm not seeing? Has it always been like this?


A Fire Elementalist gets a head-start in Fire Magic.
A Wizard (with fire book) gets a head-start in Spellcasting and a good variety of spells (some utility, some damage).
A Conjurer (with fire book) gets a head-start in Conjuration and has variety between that of FE and Wi.

It isn't just the starting gear but what skills get a head-start that you have to consider. Head-start on piety is another factor. As has been said, your class is in no way fixed. As opposed to a game like ADOM where you get class-specific abilities at certain level thresholds, in this game it's just what gear, skills, spells, and deity you start out with. Nothing stops a Fighter or Gladiator from finding a book of conjurations and suddenly training to be a Reaver mid-game. Nothing stops a Berserker from dropping Trog and switching to Kiku, TSO, or Nemlex (save racial restrictions). Nothing stops you from picking an "off" combo from the get-go. I just played a Spriggan Berserker and did as well as I did with a Troll Berserker. My exceptionally bloodthirsty spriggan died to a Titanic Slime in the Vault by the same hubris that made my Troll Berserker die to a Naga Mage in the Snake Pits. It's a very equal-opportunity char-gen system.

Spider Stomper

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Post Sunday, 13th March 2011, 06:15

Re: All these classes?

Wizards no longer even fit into this system, since they now have their own book.
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Snake Sneak

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Post Sunday, 13th March 2011, 06:45

Re: All these classes?

Jenx wrote:Wizards no longer even fit into this system, since they now have their own book.


That, and the Fire Conjurer book now contain a few earth spells as well, but really at this point, I think knight up there's just victory dancing Topic Necromancy. :p
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Snake Sneak

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Post Tuesday, 22nd March 2011, 00:52

Re: All these classes?

Nothing stops a Berserker from dropping Trog and switching to Kiku, TSO, or Nemlex (save racial restrictions).


It's a lot of fun doing this too. Use trog to give you a really good item, probably by mid-late lair. By that time you can safely drop him, wait out for 35-50k turns, and pick another god. Ash turns berserkers into a really interesting (and high HP) hybrid if you use ash to pump spellcasting.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 22nd March 2011, 03:22

Re: All these classes?

minmay wrote:How do you safely fight a berserking stone giant? He even stops you from abjuring them.


You disintegrate a teeny-tiny niche in a wall blocked off by magma. You then stand in that niche with sustenance on and a slowly diminishing pile of permafood at your feet for a dreadfully long time, trying to resist the boredom with all your might. Might want to get a book or something.

Anyway, you're safe from the stone giants.
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Tuesday, 22nd March 2011, 03:32

Re: All these classes?

Proposed Fix: if you isolate yourself with deep water or lava, Trog should be able to summon berserking sharks or lava fish. XD

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Snake Sneak

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Post Tuesday, 22nd March 2011, 03:47

Re: All these classes?

minmay wrote:How do you safely fight a berserking stone giant? He even stops you from abjuring them.


He prevents it to a certain extent. That SpBe that I ascended used a rod of warding and it never took more than two casts. Admitedly my evoc was extremely high (high teens at the time I think).

Also, the safe way to fight a berserking giant is to ensure you never even see them.

I've switched from trog on a couple characters now. You create a hallway with a wand of digging on d:2 or 3. You get popcorn to follow you in, you make sure you have food, you hold down the 5 key.

Trog is extremely easy to dump if you're willing to wait for 35k turns.

Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 22nd March 2011, 04:33

Re: All these classes?

Waiting 35K turns Late game is a better trade off than getting propelled into the abyss low-low mid level.

I like the class selection, but it is really just a basis for allocation of skills stats, species is the more permanent one. You can always switch from one play style to another, but having +4 to pole arms and -2 armour is not going away with your murmaider.

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