Why do I suck so badly?


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 Saturday, 15th January 2011, 05:13

Why do I suck so badly?

I'd ask for more specific advice, but as a very experienced roguelike player - I'm just getting wrecked in this one. Half my characters die in D1-2, the vast majority of the rest are dead by D5-6.

I've had one SpVM make it to around character level 14, and a TrMo get to character level 13 before they were butchered - the SpVM unexpectedly one-shotted by a centaur, TrMo seemingly invincible until pincushion massacred the one and only time I found a 'bastion' level, or whatever that was. :shock:

Since then very few of my characters have made any progress at all, despite my retreat into more and more conservative play. I've tried quite a few different combinations, and some of them kill pretty well, but one and all feel like they are made of out tissue paper that is just waiting for the RNG to sneeze hard. :?

No real problems with starvation in most cases. I tend to try to fully clear levels before moving down, though I'm getting really shy about engaging anything with a name, if I can avoid it. Running away from stuff seems mostly impossible once you've engaged them, unless they are too dumb to use stairs, or you're fast. I am generally pretty careful to ID stuff as early as I can so I can use potions or scrolls to escape - but its rarely enough.

What am I missing here? Is the RNG just filled with pure hate and loathing, or is this the standard expected experience for the first 40-50 runs?

Uhm. Enjoying it otherwise. I like a good challenge. :D

Dungeon Master

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Post Saturday, 15th January 2011, 05:35

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

It's pretty normal to suck at this game when you are starting off, even if it's not your first roguelike. Oh, and your record for dying early isn't anything terrible. Most players - even the better ones - tend to lose most of their games early.

One of the things you really need to do in crawl is play tactically. You absolutely must use your consumables whenever you can, and the game gives you plenty of them to ensure that's possible. You also need to know when to run away (the answer is: very often) and learn which monsters are dangerous (that centaur that one-shotted you wasn't some fluke event. This can happen to a low HP race even in the late game if you aren't careful).

You seem to have most of these basics down. The trick is just applying them properly.

In any case, words of advice can only do much. If you really want to learn a thing or to, the best way is to play online (visit crawl.akrasiac.org to learn how) and either spectate a good player, or ask one to spectate you and give you advice as you play. ##crawl on irc.freenode.net is an active channel and you might be able to find someone to give you advice as you play (even if you don't have someone watching your game, if you ask a question there it will probably be answered quickly).

Online, you'll have to play in ascii mode instead of tiles mode, but this is the best way to learn the ropes.


edit: ok, two more tips. I was kind of thinking you just knew these already, but they are probably the most important rules of combat in crawl, and maybe aren't totally obvious to new players (although more obvious to roguelike players).

1. Fight in corridors. Never fight multiple enemies in the open unless you can't avoid it, or absolutely know you can handle it.
2. If an enemy has a ranged attack, get its attention and duck around a corner. Then wait for it to approach you, and fight it once it comes into view. Ranged enemies use melee attacks when they are in melee range, and this trick forces them into melee range.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Saturday, 15th January 2011, 08:31

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

I picked one class/race combo and stuck with it for hundreds of games in order to really learn the game. I started playing in version 0.5 and it's only in the last month that I have become good enough to get past XL 10 regularly. It's so much fun at higher levels that I feel it's been worth it.

Part of the trick is learning what each monster does, and the best way to do that is to die against them.

Centaurs for example MUST be run from by melee characters; you've got to hide just around a corner and whack them when they come around, as evilmike says.

For another example, MDFi do not have a good chance at beating Ogres until XL 6. I learned that the hard way, and now I know to run from Ogres the moment I see them at XL <5.

Dungeon Master

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Post Saturday, 15th January 2011, 14:47

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

I know of one player who managed to actually win rather unspoiled using the following steps: Only play TrBe. This solves the weapon, god, armour decisions for you, and reduces skilling mistkes (but take minmay's advince seriously). With Trog, you should get to the midgame reliably. Just as you shouldn't be stingy with resources (use them!), you shouldn't be stingy with powers. Berserk rage has certain drawbacks, as you'll find out, but it does solve a large number of problems, if applied correctly.
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Slime Squisher

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Post Saturday, 15th January 2011, 15:26

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

You shouldn't try to "clear levels" at all costs when you go down. If there are monsters your character cannot engage yet, run and come back when you are stronger.
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Temple Termagant

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Post Saturday, 15th January 2011, 15:43

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

Hmm. This all sounds like good advice. I'd say I'm probably being a bit too conservative with my resources initially, and I'm probably not avoiding some encounters as quickly as I should.

That being said, I'm going to say that Sigfried is responsible for nearly 1/3 of my deaths, and I generally run the second I catch sight of him.

I'm guessing I should probably actually corner pull him and engage in melee, as his accuracy is likely terrible with that scythe - of course, that's still an excellent chance of death for a low evasion character. :|

Spider Stomper

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Post Saturday, 15th January 2011, 16:42

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

Vastin wrote:I'm guessing I should probably actually corner pull him and engage in melee, as his accuracy is likely terrible with that scythe


Ah, famous last words. No, he's actually not bad with it at all. It also is enchanted sometimes and being electrocuted for 15 damage when you're XL 4 is really not fun. Best way I've found with dealing with Sigfried is either confuse him and then kill him, or if you can't do that - berserk (or quaff might and/or speed potions) and try to take him down with the most damaging weapon you have.
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Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Saturday, 15th January 2011, 17:22

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

Anything you can do to "soften up" tough monsters early, do it. Throw stones/darts, lead them into traps that you've discovered like bolts or arrows, zap wands. Don't get it in your head that you're going to walk right up to that gnoll on D:2 and slug it out with him.
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Spider Stomper

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Post Saturday, 15th January 2011, 17:29

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

Since when was Sigmund's name Sigfried?

But yeah, generally you will want to run. Go to the next level, and once you've raised your experience level by a bit come back and kill him.

Also, another hint - when facing large amounts of melee enemies in an open area, try to "stair dance". Basically, draw then to the up stairs, go up, kill the small group that follows you up, go back down, rinse and repeat. (Note that this does not work well with hard hitting monsters.) You can also leave them on that level if they are too much of a bother, which is yet another good tactic. It's definitely saved my hide more then a few times...
You see here a dire elephant corpse.
You start butchering the dire elephant corpse with your claws.
You continue butchering the corpse.
You are engulfed in roaring flames. You stop butchering the corpse.
You die...

Spider Stomper

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Post Saturday, 15th January 2011, 18:01

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

Un67 wrote:Since when was Sigmund's name Sigfried?


Blah, details details.
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Swamp Slogger

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Post Saturday, 15th January 2011, 18:23

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

Un67 wrote:Since when was Sigmund's name Sigfried?

But yeah, generally you will want to run. Go to the next level, and once you've raised your experience level by a bit come back and kill him.

Also, another hint - when facing large amounts of melee enemies in an open area, try to "stair dance". Basically, draw then to the up stairs, go up, kill the small group that follows you up, go back down, rinse and repeat. (Note that this does not work well with hard hitting monsters.) You can also leave them on that level if they are too much of a bother, which is yet another good tactic. It's definitely saved my hide more then a few times...


What can actually be more helpful sometimes is to go up, then go back down a different set of stairs. Usually by the time you get back to the original stairs the mob will have dispersed.
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Spider Stomper

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Post Saturday, 15th January 2011, 18:40

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

I guess that works too, but that's probably better if you're certain what's in other parts of the dungeon.
You see here a dire elephant corpse.
You start butchering the dire elephant corpse with your claws.
You continue butchering the corpse.
You are engulfed in roaring flames. You stop butchering the corpse.
You die...

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Saturday, 15th January 2011, 18:44

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

I prefer Siegfried - it means "victory peace" in German, because when you beat the bastard you feel a sense of celestial peace flowing through you.

I second the advice to run from Sig, but also learn when he becomes killable. An XL10 MDFi can go toe-to-toe with Sig and take him down easily without using buffs like berserk, though the ability to prevent confuse is useful. Add a note to the level - Shift-! - and come back later for the kill.

Temple Termagant

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Post Saturday, 15th January 2011, 20:59

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

Fair enough, though almost every time I try to run from sigmund/sigfriend/whomever, he guns me down with some sort of magical bolts within a few rounds. <shrug>

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Saturday, 15th January 2011, 21:15

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

When I first had trouble with Sigmund, I started getting over that hurdle by picking out a background that would have no trouble. Most casters can deal with him easily, since Mephitic Cloud shuts him down immediately and you can finish him with your ranged attack. Then I took those casters and played them through the later parts of the game, and when it came time to take new, non-caster characters through Sigmund's territory, I had naturally improved my understanding of the stealth system enough that they could avoid him or take him down… most of the time, anyway.

So, I suppose you just want to find a playing style that works for you, and then abuse it as much as you can. Once things start falling into place, you should have a whole lot more success.
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Spider Stomper

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Post Saturday, 15th January 2011, 23:26

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

If you really want to take Sigmund easily, play a Berserker. Any kind work, but Troll and Kobold are generally the best. However, pretty much ANY race with Berserk should (keyword: should) be able to take him down.
You see here a dire elephant corpse.
You start butchering the dire elephant corpse with your claws.
You continue butchering the corpse.
You are engulfed in roaring flames. You stop butchering the corpse.
You die...

Temple Termagant

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Post Saturday, 15th January 2011, 23:51

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

Well, I didn't run into Sigmund this time, but as a DeWi I'm finding that burying enemies under packs of ravening wolves is remarkably effective. Alas, my elemental affinities are terrible, so the elementals aren't very reliable as yet.

Dungeon Master

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Post Sunday, 16th January 2011, 00:32

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

Vastin wrote:Well, I didn't run into Sigmund this time, but as a DeWi I'm finding that burying enemies under packs of ravening wolves is remarkably effective. Alas, my elemental affinities are terrible, so the elementals aren't very reliable as yet.

Wizards actually are one of the classes that make sigmund and most other spellcasters utterly trivial, because you start with a spell called mephetic cloud. This is a "must use" spell... try it out and you'll see why. It loses its effectiveness later but it's awesome for the early game and most of the midgame.

Temple Termagant

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Post Sunday, 16th January 2011, 03:12

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

Yup. Mephitic cloud has been relatively effective so far, though generally not as effective as a pack of ravening wolves for actually eliminating foes.

Unfortunately that build stalled out for me around DL12 or so, as the summons don't become any more powerful as you improve your skills, and I wasn't able to ever find a better one - or learn a decent attack spell.

I technically had summon Elemental, but no way to improve my elemental proficiencies to the point where I could summon friendly ones with any reliability at all, so that spell was useless. At what skill do they become 90%+ reliable or so?

Halls Hopper

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Post Sunday, 16th January 2011, 03:27

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

Fire is 90% friendly at skill 9; Ice is 90% friendly at roughly 13-14; Air is the same as Ice; Earth would by 90% at skill 4.5 if you could actually get a skill of 4.5 somehow.

For what it's worth, though, I find [ice] wizards easier than [summ] wizards. If you want to go the summoning route and reliably get the better summons quickly, Vehumet may be the way to go for god choice.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Sunday, 16th January 2011, 03:37

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

Vehumet is the easy-mode wizard deity. While your dogs do improve with increased spell power (less chance of getting crappy jackals, and better chance of getting war dogs and whatnot), summoning spells do tend to get obsolete if you don't upgrade them regularly. Vehumet starts gifting books very early, and if you're a summoner she will always give you summons upgrades for the first three books. Otherwise you're at the total mercy of the RNG as to whether you can continue summoning at all.

I found the ice wizard book to be the best of the three, though. It has several extremely valuable defensive spells that can be pretty hard to find, and Vehumet will gift the character a Book of Conjurations (Ice), which provides Bolt of Cold. As the best of the Bolt of Element spells, Bolt of Cold kills lots of things real good, and with Vehumet's range bonus hits ANYTHING in line-of-sight. At this point, your spellbook has no holes that are particularly important.

Snake Sneak

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Post Tuesday, 18th January 2011, 21:05

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

Try playing as Transmuter (either SE or Merfolk, Felid might work well too). They have a wide variety of skills useful in the difficult early game. Potion spam for confusion, Sticks to Snakes for things that resist confusion, Spider Form for easy running away and evasion.

Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Tuesday, 18th January 2011, 21:52

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

I just figured I'd chime in here with my take on what is the "easiest" thing for newcomers.

Part of crawl's learning curve is the vast number of items you have at your disposal, and how to make best use of them. The solution? Play a felid (only in trunk I think).

A Felid Berserker is all KINDS of crazy fun. You never have to worry about weapons, armor, wands, staves, decks, blah blah blah. You can only wear rings and an amulet.

You dont have to dick with skill management. You will be specifically training unarmed combat, fighting, and dodging (& maybe some stealth)... really ... that's about it. dead simple.

Admittedly, felids' offensive power is somewhat underwhelming for the first 5 or so levels of UC, but around XL 7, they start shredding. This is ok, because until then, you can 'aa' (Berserk!!!) with impunity since you are a carnivore and can eat whenever you damn well please. Sure, your sacs will never amount to any gifts, but damn, when you're in a jam, call in the homies, and don't be shy!

But wait, it gets better... let's say you screw up and die ... it's OK ... You have 9 frigging lives!!! That's right... You're a berserk at will, equipment independent, homie calling, flesh eating invincible-9-lives-having furball of absolute terror and annihilation.

Oh, did I mention you move faster than monsters, and have amazing stealth and can see invisible, and a built-in level of fire resistance around XL12?

For newcomers, I believe this combination would be very viable, as it will get you to narrow on the basics of the game.

TrBe's are also nice, but their drawbacks become painfully apparent around mid-lair, which isn't really an issue for a new player, but I still think the Felid is much more fun to play.

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Snake Sneak

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Post Tuesday, 18th January 2011, 22:02

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

I hear you brother -- I too have been learning from the School of Hard Knocks.

My biggest problem currently are my own ghosts. My best solution is to run away from them. They do not follow you up or down stairs but that's about the only good thing about them.

So, is there a way to reduce the chances I'll meet a former self? I'd be happy to prune my list of deaths down to, say, 50 instead of the several hundred it is now.

Snake Sneak

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Post Tuesday, 18th January 2011, 22:17

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

The easiest solution to ghosts = play a necromancer. Dispel undead turns even the most terrifying ghost into a convenient exp boost.

Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Tuesday, 18th January 2011, 22:19

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

ohmi wrote:So, is there a way to reduce the chances I'll meet a former self? I'd be happy to prune my list of deaths down to, say, 50 instead of the several hundred it is now.


Play online, and let someone else kill them :)

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 19th January 2011, 00:01

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

ohmi wrote:I hear you brother -- I too have been learning from the School of Hard Knocks.

My biggest problem currently are my own ghosts. My best solution is to run away from them. They do not follow you up or down stairs but that's about the only good thing about them.

So, is there a way to reduce the chances I'll meet a former self? I'd be happy to prune my list of deaths down to, say, 50 instead of the several hundred it is now.


Running away is actually a perfectly suitable solution. A ghost level that gets generated will only get re-saved if you die in it again, so if you leave that level and die somewhere else the ghost is gone forever. You'll get a new ghost from the new character, but it will probably be weaker or you would have just beaten the first ghost normally.

The quit command will also get rid of that ghost permanently. Quitters never win, but they also never leave ghosts. If while playing on a public server you run into a griefer spriggan ghost with Firestorm on Lair 1 or thereabouts, this is probably your best bet. It's probably not a typical solution, because quitting an otherwise successful game just to get rid of a ghost is going to waste a LOT of playing time.

Remember that ghosts are usually under-equipped, or they wouldn't have died. You can examine the ghost at a distance to find out its original race and background, and that tells you what spells it is likely to have. They will be immune to poison if they weren't already, but on the other hand they also can't use berserk or any ranged weapons or evocable items they had. Most casters will have Mephitic Cloud, so bring poison resistance or clarity. Stay out of reach of a melee ghost. Caster ghosts will not be able to cast intelligently, but they do have infinite mp, so go straight for your strongest attacks and blow them off the board.

Snake Sneak

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Post Wednesday, 19th January 2011, 00:14

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

Thanks for the good advice everyone.
Is there a way to tell if you'll see a given character as a ghost?
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Wednesday, 19th January 2011, 03:48

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

ohmi wrote:Thanks for the good advice everyone.
Is there a way to tell if you'll see a given character as a ghost?


Keep track of the number of bones files in your save folder. If a new one appears after you die, it means that character will be back to haunt you one day.

Spider Stomper

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Post Thursday, 3rd February 2011, 13:59

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

Vastin wrote: I tend to try to fully clear levels before moving down


This is a good strategy in roguelikes like Nethack, where monster strength is tied to your level as well as the depth, and your primary way of getting an advantage is through equipment finds. But it rarely works in Crawl, where only depth (and branch) matters. I very rarely get to Lair without having skipped parts of one or more levels due to player ghosts, known nasty uniques, or even scary vaults (the gnoll fortress is not to be underestimated, it can come ridiculously early).

Evaluating your chances at taking on a particular monster, vault or unique - and learning the best strategies for each will take time (e.g. the do's and don't's of hydra warfare: don't use ordinary slashing weapons, do use wands of fire/cold/lightning/drain, don't use wand of polymorph, do use flaming slashing weapons which you can get this, that and that way etc.). If you have sorrows from player ghosts, I suggest starting a Mummy Necro called "Ghostbuster", get to where you can cast destroy undead, and clean up.
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Swamp Slogger

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Post Thursday, 3rd February 2011, 20:05

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

evilmike wrote:
Vastin wrote:Well, I didn't run into Sigmund this time, but as a DeWi I'm finding that burying enemies under packs of ravening wolves is remarkably effective. Alas, my elemental affinities are terrible, so the elementals aren't very reliable as yet.

Wizards actually are one of the classes that make sigmund and most other spellcasters utterly trivial, because you start with a spell called mephetic cloud. This is a "must use" spell... try it out and you'll see why. It loses its effectiveness later but it's awesome for the early game and most of the midgame.


Let's not forget evaporate here as well... distill a corpse, use evaporate, transform yourself into a giant spider (if you can do it reliably), and laugh manically. As a Transmuter this is a good combo as it trains Transmutations, Poison (turn that off early), Unarmed Combat (for Bladehands, and other transformations later), and Necromancy (Good to branch to later).
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Swamp Slogger

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Post Thursday, 3rd February 2011, 21:12

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

vintermann wrote:
Vastin wrote: I tend to try to fully clear levels before moving down


This is a good strategy in roguelikes like Nethack, where monster strength is tied to your level as well as the depth, and your primary way of getting an advantage is through equipment finds. But it rarely works in Crawl, where only depth (and branch) matters. I very rarely get to Lair without having skipped parts of one or more levels due to player ghosts, known nasty uniques, or even scary vaults (the gnoll fortress is not to be underestimated, it can come ridiculously early).

Evaluating your chances at taking on a particular monster, vault or unique - and learning the best strategies for each will take time (e.g. the do's and don't's of hydra warfare: don't use ordinary slashing weapons, do use wands of fire/cold/lightning/drain, don't use wand of polymorph, do use flaming slashing weapons which you can get this, that and that way etc.). If you have sorrows from player ghosts, I suggest starting a Mummy Necro called "Ghostbuster", get to where you can cast destroy undead, and clean up.


I like to leave my ghosts hanging around because then I get free EXP packets everywhere.
Have you tried Spamming Mephitic cloud on anything slightly threatening yet?

@Vastin I had gone through at least 200 characters before i even saw a rune of Zot.
Actually that character also Made it to Zot:5 before he was roasted by *Spoilers*

Swamp Slogger

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Post Sunday, 6th February 2011, 06:55

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

ohmi wrote:I hear you brother -- I too have been learning from the School of Hard Knocks.

My biggest problem currently are my own ghosts. My best solution is to run away from them. They do not follow you up or down stairs but that's about the only good thing about them.

So, is there a way to reduce the chances I'll meet a former self? I'd be happy to prune my list of deaths down to, say, 50 instead of the several hundred it is now.

Deleting or renaming your morgue file will prevent ghosts from spawning (at least until new characters start dying). I used to clean out my morgue from time to time when I was newer because having like a hundred spellcasting ghosts with innate poison and cold resistance populating the narrow region between D3 and the temple made playing ice elementalists and venom mages hellishly difficult.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Sunday, 6th February 2011, 09:14

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

I thought deleting the bones files was what did it. Though it's true ghosts sometimes spawn sans bones files.

Snake Sneak

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Post Sunday, 6th February 2011, 15:08

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

Grimm wrote:Centaurs for example MUST be run from by melee characters; you've got to hide just around a corner and whack them when they come around, as evilmike says.

Please note that in Trunk AI has been improved and ranged monsters won't be as easy to fool as before.

Really, crawl is all about estimating, then playing tactically. Every time you see a new danger, you must ask yourself: can I defeat it, or should I run away? You have to consider your options, different spells as well as your consumables and inventory. Some dangers that some characters have more trouble than others are:

D: 1-2 : Gnolls, Floating Eye, early Snakes
D: 2-5 : orc bands, specifically wizards/priests, early poisoners, Ice Beasts, Sigmund, Elf Duo
D: 4-6 : Early Centaurs, orc warriors
etc. etc. Most of my early deaths were caused by underestimating uniques or monsters, hell plenty of my current deaths are caused by underestimating my enemies (Check out this log http://crawl.develz.org/morgues/trunk/S ... 164849.txt for a fine example of this. I've just cleared vaults:8 with my MuIE and went to crypt, only to get killed by a band of skeleton warriors who I thought I could surely take on. Even though on the final turn the skelly did move+attack at the same turn, I should never have underestimated their abillity to kill me in the first place).
Some comboes I've had a lot of success with when I started:
MuIE of Oka, DSCK of makhleb, DrTm and casters with mephitic cloud.

Lair Larrikin

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Post Wednesday, 9th February 2011, 06:14

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

mageykun wrote:
ohmi wrote:Thanks for the good advice everyone.
Is there a way to tell if you'll see a given character as a ghost?


Keep track of the number of bones files in your save folder. If a new one appears after you die, it means that character will be back to haunt you one day.

Where is the save folder located? I can't find it in the main game directory...
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Dungeon Master

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Post Wednesday, 9th February 2011, 10:25

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

golan2072 wrote:Where is the save folder located? I can't find it in the main game directory...

It's hidden in %APPDATA%\crawl. APPDATA depends on your windows version. For windows XP it's something like :

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C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Application Data


We really have to move them to "My Documents". This question keeps popping up...
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

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danr, golan2072

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 15

Joined: Sunday, 6th February 2011, 08:33

Location: Rehovot, Israel

Post Wednesday, 9th February 2011, 16:13

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

galehar wrote:It's hidden in %APPDATA%\crawl. APPDATA depends on your windows version. For windows XP it's something like :

  Code:
C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Application Data

Thanks! :mrgreen:

galehar wrote:We really have to move them to "My Documents". This question keeps popping up...

Why not put it in the game's install directory like the datafiles?
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Lair Larrikin

Posts: 15

Joined: Monday, 24th January 2011, 18:27

Post Wednesday, 9th February 2011, 20:49

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

Type %appdata% in run on any system and it will take you to the right file.
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Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1533

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:52

Post Wednesday, 9th February 2011, 21:21

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

I think it would be best in the game's install directory. That makes it easier for those of us who like to synchronize our games to multiple computers using dropbox, or even across platforms (linux / windows).

No, this does not facilitate save-scumming. That is much easier to do without dropbox.

Snake Sneak

Posts: 91

Joined: Friday, 14th January 2011, 18:32

Post Thursday, 10th February 2011, 00:40

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

danr wrote:I think it would be best in the game's install directory. That makes it easier for those of us who like to synchronize our games to multiple computers using dropbox, or even across platforms (linux / windows).

No, this does not facilitate save-scumming. That is much easier to do without dropbox.


I disagree -- it's not good practice for any app to write user/save data into its own install directories. Directory permissions and support for mulitple users on the same computer become much more difficult, and increases upgrade/reinstall failure scenarios.

My Documents is not right either -- in theory it is for directories that users create and manage manually. If apps created directories there then users might be confused by names and of course, name conflicts might become an issue if poorly implemented.

The <user>/ApplicationData method is best, permitting per-user backup and restore of app-managed directories and files.

All IMHO of course,
ohmi.

Dungeon Dilettante

Posts: 3

Joined: Thursday, 10th February 2011, 05:38

Post Thursday, 10th February 2011, 05:45

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

golan2072 wrote:Why not put it in the game's install directory like the datafiles?
The Windows installer defaults to installing where Crawl can't write savefiles, as of Vista and higher.

There's no reason not to with a static archive (and indeed the ZIP archive does as suggested).

(zaimoni looks around for a method to cancel Sticky Flames.)
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Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Thursday, 10th February 2011, 14:05

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

ohmi wrote:My Documents is not right either -- in theory it is for directories that users create and manage manually. If apps created directories there then users might be confused by names and of course, name conflicts might become an issue if poorly implemented.

The <user>/ApplicationData method is best, permitting per-user backup and restore of app-managed directories and files.

Yes, using %APPDATA% is "The Right Way To Do It", but you'll notice that many commercial games put user data in "My Documents" and I believe they do so to reduce calls to the hotline. Many users can't find the application data directory. It's even hidden by default. That's why I'm thinking using the "My Documents" folder is the least bad choice.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

Dungeon Master

Posts: 1611

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 21:54

Post Thursday, 10th February 2011, 14:25

Re: Why do I suck so badly?

galehar wrote:
ohmi wrote:My Documents is not right either -- in theory it is for directories that users create and manage manually. If apps created directories there then users might be confused by names and of course, name conflicts might become an issue if poorly implemented.

The <user>/ApplicationData method is best, permitting per-user backup and restore of app-managed directories and files.

Yes, using %APPDATA% is "The Right Way To Do It", but you'll notice that many commercial games put user data in "My Documents" and I believe they do so to reduce calls to the hotline. Many users can't find the application data directory. It's even hidden by default. That's why I'm thinking using the "My Documents" folder is the least bad choice.

Personally it really annoys me when games put their saves in My Documents and clutter it up. :P

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