What are your numbers?


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

Dungeon Dilettante

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Joined: Tuesday, 4th September 2012, 15:53

Post Tuesday, 4th September 2012, 16:20

What are your numbers?

So I have played DCSS for a few years and played other Roguelikes in the past.

I was curious to see how many characters people have to start before they get a "good one" going and if there are thresholds people use to gauge if a character will make the grade lower down. I know a lot of this is subjective and sort of useless since much depends on what items come your way, but indulge me if you will.

Currently I get to the end of D3 and try all my scrolls, potions, wands, etc. If I have yet to get anything of any utility I think about starting over. If I move past that point I do know that if I can't take a room full of orcs with the equipment I have I will probably not make it since even if I avoid the Orcish Mines I will just have centaurs or gnolls or some other hoard on D10 or earlier.

My biggest problem is that when I get a good character going I end up in places I am not familiar with and thus get into danger. I don't always want to run to the Wiki and when I do it tends to be too late.

Anyway, just curious to know if I am just not good at this game or just unlucky or what cause it is long and super lethal.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 3163

Joined: Friday, 6th January 2012, 18:45

Post Tuesday, 4th September 2012, 16:24

Re: What are your numbers?

Rather than abandoning characters that haven't gotten lucky drops in the very early levels, why not keep going and exploring those unfamiliar areas? You can practice handling (read: avoiding) challenges for which you feel unprepared and get a better idea of what things are easier than you thought and what things are, in fact, very difficult.

Out of curiosity, what qualifies as something "of any utility"? For me, finding something as simple as a sling on D:2 with a conjuror can be awesome.

Slime Squisher

Posts: 341

Joined: Wednesday, 14th September 2011, 10:10

Post Tuesday, 4th September 2012, 16:31

Re: What are your numbers?

My advice would be "flee earlier, flee more". But it's a very difficult piece of advice to follow myself :)
My wins so far - FeBe, KoBe, DsCo, MDFi, DsBe
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Pandemonium Purger

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Joined: Saturday, 7th July 2012, 02:28

Location: Limbo

Post Tuesday, 4th September 2012, 16:32

Re: What are your numbers?

I think I had to do about five DEWz of Chei before I got my winning one, can't really remember.

If you want a good tip, don't abandon characters. What will go down will go down, and you never know if you'll find some amazing stuff later on. (I've tried this a couple of times.)

The biggest variable in "how many characters before you get a good one going" is the combo. I've splatted countless OpTm's, because those are really fragile early on.
While an easier combo (if you know your spidey sense strategies, kind of), like DEWz, I only had to do a couple of times before ascending with the orb victorious.
take it easy
  Code:
!lg * won !DD-- min=turns -log
<Sequell> 20749. Bloax, XL24 VSTm, T:13320: http://crawl.lantea.net/crawl/morgue/Bloax/morgue-Bloax-20140907-000920.txt

Did you know that I like ruining crawl every now and then? Go check it out.

Slime Squisher

Posts: 341

Joined: Wednesday, 14th September 2011, 10:10

Post Tuesday, 4th September 2012, 16:37

Re: What are your numbers?

Or start with something simple like FeBe if you're still in 0.10 (don't try to learn too much bad habit with this because it plays very differently than the other combos)...
My wins so far - FeBe, KoBe, DsCo, MDFi, DsBe
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Shoals Surfer

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Joined: Saturday, 21st May 2011, 08:23

Post Tuesday, 4th September 2012, 16:57

Re: What are your numbers?

What that's called is startscumming and yah it works, but it is super boring for me. If you want to do it, OK.

For me because of some handicap I have, it's difficult to play, so I have to make every move count. Almost all of my characters make it to lair.
(p.s. this is stupid some dev please make it not stupid) - minmay

Dungeon Dilettante

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Joined: Tuesday, 4th September 2012, 15:53

Post Tuesday, 4th September 2012, 18:37

Re: What are your numbers?

Well it seems like toughing it out is the way to go. Thanks, I will just keep on keeping on.

BTW I was thinking of wands that would punch a hole in a mass of enemies (fire or ice etc) or a ring that would keep them away (invisible) or just a powerful item that is worth keeping.

Mines Malingerer

Posts: 34

Joined: Saturday, 1st September 2012, 08:48

Post Tuesday, 4th September 2012, 19:18

Re: What are your numbers?

I find fleeing too often can be just as suicidal as fleeing not enough. The potential to paint yourself in a corner, where you cannot go forward because the road is blocked by something nasty, and you left something nasty also behind...

Slime Squisher

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Joined: Wednesday, 14th September 2011, 10:10

Post Tuesday, 4th September 2012, 19:28

Re: What are your numbers?

iriswaters wrote:I find fleeing too often can be just as suicidal as fleeing not enough. The potential to paint yourself in a corner, where you cannot go forward because the road is blocked by something nasty, and you left something nasty also behind...


You should always flee toward explored areas, of course.
My wins so far - FeBe, KoBe, DsCo, MDFi, DsBe

Mines Malingerer

Posts: 34

Joined: Saturday, 1st September 2012, 08:48

Post Tuesday, 4th September 2012, 19:36

Re: What are your numbers?

Well, yes, of course. But I am more talking about when you -bypass- an enemy that is too strong for your level, and then immediately run into something worse.

Slime Squisher

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Joined: Monday, 15th August 2011, 16:31

Location: Frankfurt

Post Tuesday, 4th September 2012, 20:32

Re: What are your numbers?

iriswaters wrote:But I am more talking about when you -bypass- an enemy that is too strong for your level, and then immediately run into something worse.


Yeah, I know that feeling. I bypass Sigmund, only to run into Grinder on the level below. I bypass Grinder, too, and find myself hopelessly underpowered on the level after that.

What seems to help --- though, it's a little to early too tell, maybe I just got lucky recently -- is to not give up on levels entirely. I.e. clear the level, even if there's something nasty which I'd rather avoid. I do go downstairs, but only to explore the "bypassed" level from below. This way, I have six instead of three staircases to run to, and all the escape hatches.

EDIT: And then there's always the option of coming back later to settle the score. "Hey, Sigmund, remember how you used to bully me when I was younger? Well, I got some news for you ..."
"... while we / Unburden'd crawl toward death." -- King Lear I,1
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Blades Runner

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Joined: Wednesday, 10th August 2011, 01:06

Post Tuesday, 4th September 2012, 20:44

Re: What are your numbers?

Every 3 or 4 MiFi/MiGl/MiBe's get to about Vaults. I never abandon them because of bad drops, albeit if I'm stuck with a Ring of Hunger, a cursed Club, and have been consuming permafood like nobody's business, I certainly will care less when that character is killed.

About running away; I rarely play characters that really have to, and detest those that do. Playing a Ne or VM is really annoying to me because they will find a lot of stuff they have to run away from before they get more then one damage type online. With a MiBe or DEFE or similar, all you really need to run away from is the super powerful uniques (Mennas, Nessos, Norris, early Sonja etc.).

It's frequently said that you don't have to (and really shouldn't) take out everything you come across, but my mantra kind of puts me up against anything I see. I'll take my chances going toe-to-toe with just about anything. If I can't simply berserk it to death (and this is rare), out come the trog bros.

Slime Squisher

Posts: 369

Joined: Saturday, 3rd September 2011, 18:22

Post Tuesday, 4th September 2012, 22:23

Re: What are your numbers?

Ever since I got my first 15 runer,the biggest problem I have had lately is just getting bored after I get done with orc. From there on out, it is pretty much mostly just meatshields and packs of archers with uniques sprinkled here and there. Unless you have specific spells, everything revolves around luring stuff away and killing them, resting up and repeating. I dunno, maybe I am doing it wrong or something.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 4055

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

Post Tuesday, 4th September 2012, 22:29

Re: What are your numbers?

Ne doesn't have to run from very much at all (player ghosts before you get control undead, or if you run into the zombie orc entrance before you learn control undead ... but notice which spell I just mentioned as the solution to both of those problems) btw. I mean you still run from the uniques that everyone else runs from but the only things immune to pain/vamp draining early on are zombies which you can kill anyway if you have enough patience, or crimson imps.

---

I have never quit a game because of bad item generation and can't remember the last time I quit/suicided a character because the character was bad (I did lose one ogwr of fedhas partly because of bad luck with items + mutations though). I have quit a few characters who were just boring but doing well. I win about 1/6 of my games overall.

Anyway almost all of your deaths are probably from bad tactics. It is extremely rare to actually get a game of crawl where you have an "unavoidable death", especially if you have already made it to d:3. If you want to improve I suggest you stop quitting games where you feel you have bad item luck and instead try to win those games, and then when you die--it happens even to the best of us--you should ask yourself how you should have handled the engagement that killed you. And while it is possible to make bad strategic decisions it is hard to go so wrong that you make your game unwinnable if you do things that make sense.

For this message the author crate has received thanks:
Utis

Dungeon Dilettante

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Joined: Tuesday, 4th September 2012, 15:53

Post Wednesday, 5th September 2012, 00:59

Re: What are your numbers?

I do learn from my mistakes and play this game because the tactics are so engrossing. I have also played off and on for at least two years and read a lot of the Wiki.

I guess I am having trouble with the fact that some people on these boards seem to be able to win the game regularly and yet I find it quite challenging to get beyond the Orcish Mines. Often if I do make it down deep and clear a few branches or sewers or what have you it is due to an item or collection of items that I was lucky enough to find. Seems from folk's replies here that is not the case or at least they expect to get what they need with each character they play. So I will apply more enthusiasm to future characters.

Spider Stomper

Posts: 238

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

Post Wednesday, 5th September 2012, 13:36

Re: What are your numbers?

I have been playing since 0.6 (2008/2009 I believe) and still don't have a win under my belt. What's worse is I actually helped a friend of mine get a win within the first two months of him playing - how's that for making you feel terrible? I've never quit a character because of bad item luck. And don't worry about how the better players on this forum perform, I'm not entirely certain all of them are completely human, and of those that are, well they're "better" for a reason.

Halls Hopper

Posts: 85

Joined: Sunday, 23rd January 2011, 08:19

Post Wednesday, 5th September 2012, 13:58

Re: What are your numbers?

It took me a very long time to get my first win, and since that win I haven't even made it back to the Vault. I keep at it, though. One thing that really helped me was to use other resources in addition the wiki - this forum, learndb and the knowledge bots are excellent sources of information. If you are willing/able to play online and hang out in ##crawl and ask questions, there are often people there who are helpful. The wiki is not as bad as it used to be, and it's getting better, but when you take advantage of more resources you give yourself a better chance at success.

Vaults Vanquisher

Posts: 431

Joined: Friday, 30th September 2011, 01:00

Post Wednesday, 5th September 2012, 16:40

Re: What are your numbers?

I've probably played over a hundred games, but have only won one time. :)

It's okay! It's that kind of game. Just try and do as best you can with what you're given. If you "do everything you can to win", winning will feel too hard and like a chore; if you play the game because it's fun, you'll eventually win it.

I main as a melee-spellcaster hybrid, and I fight more often than I run away, contrary to the "main strategy" of veteran players. The only early-game foes I run away from are Grinder and sometimes Orc Warriors or Ice Beasts (if I don't have an offensive Wand or a safe success rate for Lightning Bolt), or Purgy if she (rarely) shows up and I can't get a good shot at her, and Jellies and Orc Priests I run from only so they can chase me and I can pick them off where it's safer. But other than that I tend to recklessly charge into battle against a whole room of Orcs and Ogres or perhaps Yaks, armed only with Magic Dart and Mephitic Cloud and a blade in hand! Mid-game I charge the Hydras and Hill Giants too once Lightning Bolt is working, line them up by the wall for the riccochet hit, and believe in my beloved Elven daughter that she'll dodge the Giant Spiked Club or Multi-Head Bite counterattacks safely. ^^

I've gotten flak for it before, but really, I tried the run-away-from-everything strategy for a while and it just got to be too stressful. So I started to play my own way, and I have more fun now. That's what Crawl, or any game, should be. So play it your way too.
--Schwa, your local muse forever and long-time High Elf fangirl ^_~
(also the master of Quadri-Birds)

TheProvocateur: I like how we're sprinting at a pile of greater mummies

Slime Squisher

Posts: 387

Joined: Monday, 15th August 2011, 16:31

Location: Frankfurt

Post Monday, 10th September 2012, 10:20

Re: What are your numbers?

It's dawning on me that the good starts are not the ones with good item drops, but the ones that are hard, because there are many monsters. I think that a gnoll castle on D3 is a luckier find than just about any artifact, because, even though it is dangerous, I can take it out with careful tactics and will gain A LOT of XP doing so. In that sense, given the right terrain, I'm starting to think that even orc packs are actually a blessing.

On the other hand: those XP-starved early levels ... where you barely manage to achieve XL 4 on D4 ... I hate those.
"... while we / Unburden'd crawl toward death." -- King Lear I,1

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 3163

Joined: Friday, 6th January 2012, 18:45

Post Monday, 10th September 2012, 12:59

Re: What are your numbers?

I feel similarly about encountering early uniques when I have a means of dealing with them. (potion of might, net, etc.)

Oh hi, Grinder, thanks for the 4 levels of weapon skill!

Vaults Vanquisher

Posts: 431

Joined: Friday, 30th September 2011, 01:00

Post Tuesday, 11th September 2012, 22:39

Re: What are your numbers?

Utis wrote:It's dawning on me that the good starts are not the ones with good item drops, but the ones that are hard, because there are many monsters. I think that a gnoll castle on D3 is a luckier find than just about any artifact, because, even though it is dangerous, I can take it out with careful tactics and will gain A LOT of XP doing so.

VERY MUCH YES.

Not only are early Gnoll castles an XP goldmine but they're fun as hell too! I've had this a number of different times, and whether it's my usual Conjurer or a less-common Hill Orc Fighter or Tengu Monk I'm playing, the castle raids are always a really fun treat.

Super late-game once, in D:27, I hit a similar castle inhabited by Draconians, and the moat was lava. This was... not nearly as fun. ;_; I'd have died if not for Deflect Missles and a LOT of lucky close calls. But Gnolls? Hellz yeah. I love Gnolls. Even their name sounds cool. Hehe. Gnoll gnoll gnoll~
--Schwa, your local muse forever and long-time High Elf fangirl ^_~
(also the master of Quadri-Birds)

TheProvocateur: I like how we're sprinting at a pile of greater mummies

Dungeon Dilettante

Posts: 3

Joined: Tuesday, 11th September 2012, 04:53

Post Wednesday, 12th September 2012, 05:43

Re: What are your numbers?

You can gain some value from unidentified scrolls and potions by being more discriminating of when you use-ID them. For example, waiting until you find a decent weapon and wand to target with your enchant weapon and recharging scrolls respectively.

Another situation that often comes up in the early game is going down a level to encounter something slightly out-of-depth, such as an ogre. You can go back upstairs, chug unidentified potions until you hit something relevant (might, berserk, speed, etc.), then return downstairs while buffed.

One of the best ways to get good at the game is to keep trudging on regardless of your luck and you use the resources you have to the best of your ability. Playing through games that offer nothing but disaster will make you better and when you do get one of those rare Monty Haul games you'll be less likely to die to something you would otherwise be unfamiliar with.
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Blades Runner

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Joined: Wednesday, 10th August 2011, 01:06

Post Wednesday, 12th September 2012, 09:41

Re: What are your numbers?

I tend to not wait to ID scrolls/pots. They are very important to have readily available in the earlygame. My rule is to just use any unid'd scroll as soon as the level is clear (unless it's obvious it's a scroll of a certain type). Almost every potion all game gets identified, not chug-id'd. They are really good, sometimes, and chugging a speed or cmut always makes me frown.

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