Rune order past first 3


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Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Tuesday, 26th April 2011, 03:36

Rune order past first 3

I'm in the process of trying my first post-3 rune run with a build, but I'm wondering if there is a "generally accepted" order to get runes?

The two non-Slime Pit Lair runes are easily the first two, then it's either Vault or Abyss. I happened to get Tomb fourth (after Vault) on this build since I'm playing a MuWz, and am currently clearing out Zot. But after I get rid of Zot, what is the first stop I should go for? Pandemonium? Hells? I have no resist corrosion or artifact gear so I'm reluctant to go Slime Pit diving.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 26th April 2011, 04:28

Re: Rune order past first 3

This is WAY too dependent on build and available gear for any solid answer. Hells are generally harder than Pandemonium, and they have mostly the same monster set and the Hells have a tendency to drop fresh monsters right on top of you. Slime and Tomb are kind of off to the side, since certain pieces of equipment or available spells do a LOT to mitigate the danger.

Shoals/Swamp/Snake, Vaults, and Abyss are unquestionably the easiest Runes, but searching the Abyss is tedious and does not provide nearly as much loot as the alternatives, so there's little incentive to make it one of the first three. I usually pick up the Abyssal Rune by random chance when looting Pan, since it's usually quicker to self-banish than find an exit portal.

If you're using the Tornado Mummy from the other forum, Pan should be little trouble. There are lots of open areas available to fight in, and you have full access to teleport control. Slime without resist corrosion is moderately troublesome, but you should have Deflect Missiles to keep the acid blobs at bay. As a mummy, you should pack amulets of stasis and clarity for sure. Tartarus will be the worst of the Hells, unless Gehenna is.
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Tuesday, 26th April 2011, 04:31

Re: Rune order past first 3

My usual rune order goes something like this:

swamp and/or snake, vaults, shoals, abyss, slime, zot-tomb (interchangeable), hells, pan.

Long wined explanations, opinions:

The snake 5 vault is probably the safest, unless you luck out and get one of the easy swamp ends. The abyss can be safely done as soon as you have a reliable way to move fast, have rMut, an energy means of teleport, and lev/fly and/or dig to keep from getting trapped in corners. If you can't move fast (wrong race, chie, no swiftness) you have to wait until you can safely deal with all(or most) of the denizens. In the right circumstances, it can be safer than vaults:8.

Some may say the shoals are less dangerous than the vaults. I'll agree. However, the shoals are less forgiving than the vaults. In the vaults, a miscalculation, or coming in unprepared, can be survived. Retreat is possible. The shoals are wide open, non-linear, filled with fast creatures, ranged attackers, and specialized spellcasters that hit hard and fast. Miscalculations are met with death. Putting off shoals:1 till after vaults:8 is probably overkill, but I prefer safe to dead.

Slime is the first branch you should seriously consider not doing. It's entirely possible for your character to possible of getting through the zot:5 orb gauntlet, but still die in jiyva's hell. You want rmut for sure, corrosion proof equipment (artefacts, or +5 or better enchantment), every equipment slot possible filled, and hungerless dig. The best solution I've found to slime is to dig highways through the place. Remove the acid wall damage from the equation and you're halfway home. The other half is loads of caution in clearing the enemies.

As far as I'm concerned, Zot:5 and Tomb:3 are interchangeable. Both require careful creeping and luring to fight powerful opponents one on one. If you can fight your way through Zot:5, you can do the tomb, although you have to be very cautious of the torment and death curses in a way you don't in Zot. (to call on my earlier example, tomb and zot have similar difficulties. But tomb is less forgiving). Your mileage may vary with build. If you plan on ninja-ing the orb (say, via tele roulette), you probably aren't prepared to fight your way through the tomb.

I do hells before pan, although the hells are harder. A fixed, more challenging monster set, nasty, horrible hell effects, harder rune maps. However, the hells are easier to retreat from, and it's easier to ninja runes from the lords of hell than the unique pan lords. As a bunch, the hell lords seem less aggressive or relentless on the attack, and are easier to sneak by with stealth. The advantage of doing Pan last is it's the infinite branch- so you're doing victory laps! Plus, it's such a relief not to have hell effects in your life and constant fiends tormenting you that even the more powerful unique Pan Lords seems refreshingly easy in comparison. Cruising through Pan is your reward for a game well played- I don't think it's as much fun with hell hanging over your head.

As a caveat, all my really powerful characters to date have been mele hybrids. Pure casters may disagree with this wildly.

Edit: KoboldLord is totally right though. Always pick rune order based on your circumstances in a given game. For instance, a Paladin may find Tar easier than Slime. Tomb easier than Zot. A naga may want to put off the abyss due to slowness. A merfolk may be less afraid of the shoals. Etc. Don't be afraid to stop and think, or to ask the community if you're not sure where a given character should go!

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Blades Runner

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Post Tuesday, 26th April 2011, 07:35

Re: Rune order past first 3

dig is not necessary for slime in 0.8, as the highways are dug already. you can do it without using a wand of digging once, actually (aside from the slime:6 vaults). it's easier, but more importantly, much less tedious.

on the other hand, i cleared slime yesterday and an acid blob spawned in one of the vaults and ate nearly everything. :(
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Post Tuesday, 26th April 2011, 09:27

Re: Rune order past first 3

Like the others have said, it is highly character dependent. After clearing swamp/snake/shoals/vault, I usually tend to go straight for zot though. I might not necessarily clear out the lung areas in zot 5, but I'll do the rest of it. Zot gives mucho experience, which tends to be handy for developing those skills which are handy for post-game. You might strengthen your summonings for a good abjuration, your translocations for controlled blink, your air/fire/ice for tornado/firestorm/icestorm, or even your ranged skill (silver ammo is useful for Tomb!).

Provided I have the necessary equipment, slime is usually the first target on my hitlist. It is a short, predictable branch with a bunch of loot at the end. After doing it a few times, you generally know whether your current character is capable of handling it or not, as it doesn't really throw surprises at you. The Royal Jelly doesn't regen, so you can always take the last floor nice and slowly. There is no need to rush it.

Second in my list is usually Tomb or Pan. If I have the right tools to take on Tomb, probably Tomb. Tomb is a funny branch. It is similar to slime in that it is very predictable, and that it has reasonable loot at the end. Tomb can be exceptionally deadly for those unfamiliar with the details of the branch, or the unprepared. Tomb also gives you a lot of experience, particularly from the greater mummies, so it is good for training up skills. Really, just take Tomb slowly. Don't take on a lot of priests/greaters at once. Do a crazy amount of stair fighting going to the 2n'd the and 3'd floor. Try not to have to close distance between yourself and a priest/greater, or you'll end up tormented and surrounded by summons. Either have them come to you around a corner, or have a good way to take them out at range.

Pan is usually next on my list. By this time, my character is usually capable of taking out Pan/Hell lords, what with all of that sweet zot/tomb experience. Aside from the lords, nothing in pan should be particularly difficult for most characters at this point. If I had a particularly weak character, I could always just steal the runes and book it. I would hope that I could at least kill Mnoleg though. I mean...come on...Mnoleg.

Hells I normally save for the end, mostly because hell effects can be irritating to put up with. The hells normally aren't great for treasure either, in my experience. By the time I am doing the hells, I would usually rather just get in and get out than scour the last floors for loot while putting up with hell effects. As for the lords, Antaeus is definitely the hardest to kill, provided you don't just cheese him. He hits like a freight train full of bears in melee, but at range he isn't too menacing. If you can kite him and empty some wands of fire into him, it can kill him without too much fuss.

As for the Abyss, the chances are good I'll probably end up visiting against my will sometime during the visit to hell, so I usually save the rune for then. I really wish they would get rid of the abyss hell effect though. It isn't like the Abyss is a threatening place for any character doing hell.

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Shoals Surfer

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Post Tuesday, 26th April 2011, 12:28

Re: Rune order past first 3

After getting 3 runes I clear Zot for XP (and so I can easily get the Orb whenever I want). Afterward, my branch order is usually Slime --> Tomb --> Hells --> Pan --> Abyss.
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Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Tuesday, 26th April 2011, 16:35

Re: Rune order past first 3

Thanks for the advice. It's interesting that the Pan vs. Hell debate is not as universally agreed upon as I might have thought.

I did Slime and Abyss, and cleared Zot:5 with this particular character, so it's down to Hell vs. Pan right now. I think I will try mageykun's advice and delve into Hell first - if I do feel like I'm over my head, I know I can retreat out of there vs. Pan, where it seems like I could wander forever. I've actually never stepped foot into Pan with any character I've played yet.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 26th April 2011, 18:06

Re: Rune order past first 3

tcjsavannah wrote:Thanks for the advice. It's interesting that the Pan vs. Hell debate is not as universally agreed upon as I might have thought.

I did Slime and Abyss, and cleared Zot:5 with this particular character, so it's down to Hell vs. Pan right now. I think I will try mageykun's advice and delve into Hell first - if I do feel like I'm over my head, I know I can retreat out of there vs. Pan, where it seems like I could wander forever. I've actually never stepped foot into Pan with any character I've played yet.


Unlike Hell, if you leave a pan rune on a level, you can't go back for it.

As in, you land in Cerebov's level, you have to get that rune now or never. :P
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Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Wednesday, 27th April 2011, 02:07

Re: Rune order past first 3

Ok, so I died in Hell. Tartarus, specifically. How the hell do you make it down seven freaking levels with Shadow Fiends on your ass every step of the way?
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 27th April 2011, 02:44

Re: Rune order past first 3

As a mummy? Semi-controlled Blink the heck away, constantly. Dispel Undead has a fairly short range and is blocked by other enemies, so if you can keep at the edge of LOS or find a skeletal warrior or something to tank for you, you can smite-target the thing to death. Air-dropped shadow fiends are a very bad thing when you're approaching a silent specter.

I don't think arguments in favor of doing Hells before Pan hold much water. Certainly, you can't go back for Runes. But why would you need to? It's easier to get past the Rune guardian when you have full use of teleport control, and the Pan Lords aren't significantly more dangerous than the Hell Lords. Particularly since the Pan Lords don't have an honor guard of fiends randomly air-dropped in at inconvenient times.

The inability to easily return from Pan basically means you'll have to throw out and abandon more marginal items that you would have otherwise squirreled away in your stash. It does not significantly impact clearing out threats.

The only reason I can think of to ever do the Hells first is if I'm trying for a tournament banner that requires me to actually kill all the pregenerated Pan Lords. That particular task is much more difficult if you go to Pan first. This doesn't apply outside the artificial constraints of a tournament, however, since getting into unnecessary fights with post-endgame uniques will lower your chance of winning, with minimal compensation.
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Dungeon Master

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Post Wednesday, 27th April 2011, 10:37

Re: Rune order past first 3

FilthyApe wrote:I really wish they would get rid of the abyss hell effect though.

Done.
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Post Wednesday, 4th May 2011, 21:18

Re: Rune order past first 3

Well, I don't have much experience in late game branches, but here's my own order of diffuculty:

snake/swamp < vaults < shoals < slime < zot < abyss < pan/hells < tomb

Many would say that abyss is easier. Not for me - escaping abyss can take some time, you can't just leave it anytime you want.
The most dangerous thing in later branches is torment - and both pan and hells (and even abyss) have torment casting monsters, so for me they equal in difficulty.
Tomb is that I call "concentrated death".
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Halls Hopper

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Post Wednesday, 4th May 2011, 23:22

Re: Rune order past first 3

absolutego wrote:dig is not necessary for slime in 0.8


for non-caster felids might do it too?

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