Zig clearance formula


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Swamp Slogger

Posts: 176

Joined: Wednesday, 10th April 2013, 10:49

Post Thursday, 16th March 2017, 16:14

Zig clearance formula

People - I've had a go at putting down the basic steps needed to clear a zig, without going into too much detail, so that someone who's never cleared one before (like me until a few days ago) can get a rough idea of the right strategy. I'm not dealing with megazigs, just your average vanilla zig. Constructive comments welcome.

So:

1) The basic idea is to take critters out using high-powered level 9 spells, since there are too many of them to handle with just melee. With that in mind, before even thinking about doing a zig, make sure you've got plenty of defences (a ton of AC, EV, elemental resistances, MR+++++, preferably clarity, maybe shields, stealth), plenty of offensive options (high-end spells (see the rest of the formula for these), smite-targeted individual attacks (PP / AS), and melee/ ranged backup in case the mana runs out), escape options (controlled blink, fog, death's door), and evocables (again, just in case the mana runs out), as much mana restoration as you can get your hands on (magic regen, crystal ball of energy, staff of energy, vehumet, wucad mu, potions of magic and sublimation of blood (but not in lichform!)), and as much HP regeneration as you can get your hands on.
2) Also, make sure you have necromutation if you're not undead - otherwise you'll be properly dead very soon!
3) Before going down to the next floor, cast necromutation and invisibility (if you've got it), buff up and make sure you've got deflect missiles on.
4) Upon going downstairs, move slowly towards the other side, and find out what type of level you're on. If it's a holy level, end lichform if you're not undead.
5) (The scary bit) Depending on the type of level and how deep you are, get as close as you can to the crowd without waking them up or before too many individuals break away - use controlled blink to do this if need be. This is so that your nukes will be as effective as possible and so that the whole crowd will act like a meat shield. This may not be such a good idea for mummy / holy / pan floors, especially at depth, as you may get smited / damned faster than you can take them out.
6) Identify individuals who are going to cause you extreme problems / death if you don't take them out straight away (moths of wrath, ghost moths, floating eyes, starcursed masses, anything that can cast damnation / hard smiting / sap etc.)
7) Cast tornado. As the winds start to build up, aim 2 or 3 well-placed glaciates / firestorms into the crowd to take out a swathe of threats. Aim to clear the downstairs / portals just in case you need to bail.
8) By now, the winds should be spiralling around you strongly. Keep firestorming anything beyond the reach of your tornado, but keep an eye on the mana levels - you may need to top up. Make sure you leave yourself enough for at least 2CBs in case you need to bail and bear in mind failure rate for CBoE. Consider using melee / ranged to conserve the mana. Keep your focus on the big threats and don't waste mana on popcorn.
9) By now, most critters should be dead, and you can safely mop up and enjoy the treasure! If they're not, and you feel the threat is too great, just C blink to the downstairs / exit, and high-tail it outta there.
10) Repeat stages 3-8 untli you've cleared the Zig!
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Spider Stomper

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Post Thursday, 16th March 2017, 17:24

Re: Zig clearance formula

Zargon wrote:People - I've had a go at putting down the basic steps needed to clear a zig, without going into too much detail, so that someone who's never cleared one before (like me until a few days ago) can get a rough idea of the right strategy. I'm not dealing with megazigs, just your average vanilla zig. Constructive comments welcome.

So:

1) The basic idea is to take critters out using high-powered level 9 spells, since there are too many of them to handle with just melee. With that in mind, before even thinking about doing a zig, make sure you've got plenty of defences (a ton of AC, EV, elemental resistances, MR+++++, preferably clarity, maybe shields, stealth), plenty of offensive options (high-end spells (see the rest of the formula for these), smite-targeted individual attacks (PP / AS), and melee/ ranged backup in case the mana runs out), escape options (controlled blink, fog, death's door), and evocables (again, just in case the mana runs out), as much mana restoration as you can get your hands on (magic regen, crystal ball of energy, staff of energy, vehumet, wucad mu, potions of magic and sublimation of blood (but not in lichform!)), and as much HP regeneration as you can get your hands on.
2) Also, make sure you have necromutation if you're not undead - otherwise you'll be properly dead very soon!
3) Before going down to the next floor, cast necromutation and invisibility (if you've got it), buff up and make sure you've got deflect missiles on.
4) Upon going downstairs, move slowly towards the other side, and find out what type of level you're on. If it's a holy level, end lichform if you're not undead.
5) (The scary bit) Depending on the type of level and how deep you are, get as close as you can to the crowd without waking them up or before too many individuals break away - use controlled blink to do this if need be. This is so that your nukes will be as effective as possible and so that the whole crowd will act like a meat shield. This may not be such a good idea for mummy / holy / pan floors, especially at depth, as you may get smited / damned faster than you can take them out.
6) Identify individuals who are going to cause you extreme problems / death if you don't take them out straight away (moths of wrath, ghost moths, floating eyes, starcursed masses, anything that can cast damnation / hard smiting / sap etc.)
7) Cast tornado. As the winds start to build up, aim 2 or 3 well-placed glaciates / firestorms into the crowd to take out a swathe of threats. Aim to clear the downstairs / portals just in case you need to bail.
8) By now, the winds should be spiralling around you strongly. Keep firestorming anything beyond the reach of your tornado, but keep an eye on the mana levels - you may need to top up. Make sure you leave yourself enough for at least 2CBs in case you need to bail and bear in mind failure rate for CBoE. Consider using melee / ranged to conserve the mana. Keep your focus on the big threats and don't waste mana on popcorn.
9) By now, most critters should be dead, and you can safely mop up and enjoy the treasure! If they're not, and you feel the threat is too great, just C blink to the downstairs / exit, and high-tail it outta there.
10) Repeat stages 3-8 untli you've cleared the Zig!
That's my formula. It basically applies to megazigs, too.

The only thing I'd add for megazigs is that I found I needed to use special measures for Nest floors, because they eventually combined ghost moths and entropy weavers in such numbers that a few inevitably got through my firestorms and both drained my mana and corroded me. Since the corrosion negates your AC, you can't stand up to melee for that long; since it also negates your melee damage, you can't kill things in melee fast enough to keep you health up (thanks to Makhleb.)

The solution is to have non-magic, non-melee forms of killing. The best option is scrolls of immolation, but these do not spawn frequently enough to be an option for every nest floor. However, the scepter of torment is great here, especially with discs of storms. (Now, I guess you probably need to combine it with wands?)

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 16th March 2017, 17:25

Re: Zig clearance formula

Zargon wrote:so that someone who's never cleared one before (like me until a few days ago) can get a rough idea of the right strategy.
Don't you think that's awfully little zig experience to be writing a guide for them?
Zargon wrote:1) The basic idea is to take critters out using high-powered level 9 spells, since there are too many of them to handle with just melee. With that in mind, before even thinking about doing a zig, make sure you've got plenty of defences (a ton of AC, EV, elemental resistances, MR+++++, preferably clarity, maybe shields, stealth), plenty of offensive options (high-end spells (see the rest of the formula for these), smite-targeted individual attacks (PP / AS), and melee/ ranged backup in case the mana runs out), escape options (controlled blink, fog, death's door), and evocables (again, just in case the mana runs out), as much mana restoration as you can get your hands on (magic regen, crystal ball of energy, staff of energy, vehumet, wucad mu, potions of magic and sublimation of blood (but not in lichform!)), and as much HP regeneration as you can get your hands on.
You definitely do not need all of this even for megazigs, let alone the first zig. SH, stealth, and MPRegen amulets are all pretty much irrelevant, and portal projectile / airstrike are definitely irrelevant if you're casting level 9 spells.
Zargon wrote:2) Also, make sure you have necromutation if you're not undead - otherwise you'll be properly dead very soon!
I think someone with no zig experience probably needs expansion on this. You only learn necromutation because of tomb levels, as it's the easiest way to survive a mass of death curses. It is unimportant or even harmful on the rest of the levels. (Sometimes it's convenient for torment-heavy pan levels but definitely not necessary.)
Zargon wrote:4) Upon going downstairs, move slowly towards the other side, and find out what type of level you're on. If it's a holy level, end lichform if you're not undead.
This is a really bad way to find out what type of level it is. Just cast shadow creatures.
Zargon wrote:5) (The scary bit) Depending on the type of level and how deep you are, get as close as you can to the crowd without waking them up or before too many individuals break away - use controlled blink to do this if need be. This is so that your nukes will be as effective as possible and so that the whole crowd will act like a meat shield. This may not be such a good idea for mummy / holy / pan floors, especially at depth, as you may get smited / damned faster than you can take them out.
"This may not be such a good idea on all the floors that are actually dangerous"

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nago, Zargon

Tomb Titivator

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Post Thursday, 16th March 2017, 18:37

Re: Zig clearance formula

Important: Use the outer wall and terrain features to decrease the amount of monsters that can hit you/be in line of sight. /Important

Zigs are much easier if you are willing to skip troublesome floors. The easy way to know which floors are exceptionally deadly is dying to them.

?Immolation is really effective against certain floors.

Swamp Slogger

Posts: 176

Joined: Wednesday, 10th April 2013, 10:49

Post Thursday, 16th March 2017, 18:39

Re: Zig clearance formula

duvessa wrote:
Zargon wrote:so that someone who's never cleared one before (like me until a few days ago) can get a rough idea of the right strategy.
Don't you think that's awfully little zig experience to be writing a guide for them?

Don't get me wrong - I'm not "Hey, I completed my first Zig, so I'm now Der Zigmeister, mwahaha, time to tell these pathetic newbies how it's done", I'm more like "Whoa, that was pretty exhilerating, but a little too scary for comfort - let's get the experienced guys together to write a guide that will help out newbies a little more than the wiki does." And although I'm a relative newbie with Zigs, I'm not a newbie in general - check my sig.

duvessa wrote:You definitely do not need all of this even for megazigs, let alone the first zig.

I wasn't saying you needed all that stuff, just giving some examples of stuff you might want. I'll make this clearer.

duvessa wrote:This is a really bad way to find out what type of level it is. Just cast shadow creatures.

Nice trick, but shadow creatures is 6 spell levels that could be put elsewhere, and you're going to need to go to the other side of the zig at some point anyway.

duvessa wrote:You only learn necromutation because of tomb levels, as it's the easiest way to survive a mass of death curses. It is unimportant or even harmful on the rest of the levels. (Sometimes it's convenient for torment-heavy pan levels but definitely not necessary.)

Hmm - not sure about that. Hungerless level 9 spells, extra magic resistance, negative energy immunity, poison immunity, mutation immunity and a bit more AC seem pretty useful in my book for any level. And I have a hard time believing it's not necessary for levels with any amount of torment in them. I guess confusion and lack of potions are the biggest downsides to lichform, but heavy magic resistance, clarity if it's available and not using a CBoE in lichform should deal with confusion. As for potions, if you're in a position where you really need to quaff a potion (which you shouldn't be if you're doing it right), you can always cblink over to a corner, read fog, end the transformation, down the potion and re-cast lichform.

duvessa wrote:SH, stealth, and MPRegen amulets are all pretty much irrelevant, and portal projectile / airstrike are definitely irrelevant if you're casting level 9 spells.

In my experience, stealth is very useful for sneaking up on crowds while they're asleep so that you can glaciate the hell out of them in one go, shields are a help if you have the skill for it, and portal projectile can save on the mana a little bit in some situations.

duvessa wrote:"This may not be such a good idea on all the floors that are actually dangerous".

Yeah - this is the bit I could do with some help on. I wasn't sure whether I should pull back and take critters on a few at a time, or go forward and mash them. I tried the latter on my second zig, and it nearly worked but I soon realised I was being smited faster than I was killing stuff, so I had to bail. What are your tactics on big, deep, mummy floors, O enlightened elfmeister?
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Friday, 17th March 2017, 04:34

Re: Zig clearance formula

Have you watched any top-level players do zigs? That would be the easiest way to see how to approach the dangerous floors. (You probably want to filter out Gozag worshippers though)
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Shoals Surfer

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Post Friday, 17th March 2017, 13:31

Re: Zig clearance formula

One combination I like is using darkness, allowing you to firestorm stuff a few squares beyond your los. Complement with makhleb and sublimation of blood for your mp/health needs. Stuff that gets past your fire barrage is dealt with with disjunction or tornado.
It gets even better if you're a demonspawn with the lower los mutation and antennae, allowing you to do megazigs.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Friday, 17th March 2017, 23:40

Re: Zig clearance formula

I'll second darkness. While I know higher LOS is a drawback (aka, bararchi or whatever the new race is), and smaller LOS is a benefit, it usually isn't that game-changing. Except, in zigs, it's huge. You want darkness for zigs.

Does anyone remember that guy who did megazigs with Zin on a gargoyle? I know he posted a guide to how the build works but I can't seem to find it.

Spider Stomper

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Post Saturday, 18th March 2017, 20:07

Re: Zig clearance formula

tasonir wrote:Does anyone remember that guy who did megazigs with Zin on a gargoyle? I know he posted a guide to how the build works but I can't seem to find it.


Morgue (0.16) with Link to discussion:
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=17020&p=233113#p233113

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tasonir

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Post Wednesday, 22nd March 2017, 00:42

Re: Zig clearance formula

duvessa wrote:
Zargon wrote:4) Upon going downstairs, move slowly towards the other side, and find out what type of level you're on. If it's a holy level, end lichform if you're not undead.
This is a really bad way to find out what type of level it is. Just cast shadow creatures.


Please admit that this is stupid and spoily and should be changed.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 22nd March 2017, 01:05

Re: Zig clearance formula

I thought it was common knowledge that I hate literally everything about ziggurats

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nago

Slime Squisher

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Post Wednesday, 22nd March 2017, 08:14

Re: Zig clearance formula

Step 1: Learn Tornado

Shoals Surfer

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Post Saturday, 25th March 2017, 21:40

Re: Zig clearance formula

for the price of 37 Int and max skill levels in spell casting and required schools for level 9 spells, you can have the affordable luxury of level 9 spells that cost 1 unit of hunger. And i bet you thought those +6+7+8+9+10 Int items were worthless.

Step 2: Cast Discord. The LoLs begin.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 27th March 2017, 22:42

Re: Zig clearance formula

TonberryJam wrote:for the price of 37 Int and max skill levels in spell casting and required schools for level 9 spells, you can have the affordable luxury of level 9 spells that cost 1 unit of hunger. And i bet you thought those +6+7+8+9+10 Int items were worthless.

Step 2: Cast Discord. The LoLs begin.

Sure, 37 int is great, but how about 39 int with 81 mana? Honestly, having a couple of +mana items is hugely beneficial, as they also increase mana regeneration and make you rarely need to resort to any sort of risky CBOE use.

Slime Squisher

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Post Tuesday, 28th March 2017, 00:38

Re: Zig clearance formula

Recommended Megazig spellset:

Shatter
Ignition or Fire Storm
Glaciate
Tornado
Deflect Missiles
Regeneration
Sublimation of Blood
Necromutation
Aura of Abjuration
Controlled Blink
Summon Butterflies
Discord

-> 2~3 spell levels left


useful stuffs: scrolls of immolations, potions of haste, potions of lignifications, sacks of spiders, boxes of beasts, staff of wucad mu (with clarity), etc
http://crawl.akrasiac.org/scoring/players/papilio.html

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 28th March 2017, 19:10

Re: Zig clearance formula

You don't want shatter and fire storm and glaciate and tornado.

You generally always want tornado, and then one of the other three. But having all three is just wasting spell slots. Don't underestimate the value of still having a single target or bolt spell for picking off a one or two monsters coming towards you, sometimes the beginning/end of a level doesn't have 6 monsters all next to each other to justify a level 9 spell. Mana isn't infinite, even if it is plentiful.

Slime Squisher

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Post Wednesday, 29th March 2017, 00:16

Re: Zig clearance formula

single targeted projectile spell for ziggurats??

fire storm/glaciate is far more effective than LCS for knocking out single target if both spells are stabilized
http://crawl.akrasiac.org/scoring/players/papilio.html

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 29th March 2017, 00:51

Re: Zig clearance formula

Say the last monster that's left isn't terribly bulky - maybe it's a hellion. You could either fire storm and make huge noise and kill it for 9 mana, or make less noise and kill it for 6 mana with iron shot. The second is much better. Chances are you've already been making huge noises and things are awake and coming for you, but if you can manage to slow down the pace at which the entire floor comes towards you, it gives you more time to regenerate. This doesn't work terribly often but it's a good idea to at least try to slow down the encounter.

You'll end up using fire storm/whatever level 9 spell much, much more often than you use iron shot in a zigg, but there's very little point to having both fire storm and glaciate and shatter. You'd be better off replacing one of those with an iron shot, bolt of fire, etc. I usually like iron shot for the universal damage type, but your call. IMB/OOD could also apply.

Slime Squisher

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Post Wednesday, 29th March 2017, 03:01

Re: Zig clearance formula

Using iron shot over fire storm in Zigs is bad idea in MP management.
They aren't guaranteed to hit so you very often need 2~3 iron shots to kill something due to its accuracy

Noise thing means nothing in zigs once you start the combat in the floor. Noise only matters when the combat didn't begin
(because everything in the floor notices, shouts and swarms to you when the fight begins)
http://crawl.akrasiac.org/scoring/players/papilio.html

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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Wednesday, 29th March 2017, 03:11

Re: Zig clearance formula

Yeah, Fire Storm, Glaciate, and Shatter don't miss.

Spider Stomper

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Post Wednesday, 29th March 2017, 04:28

Re: Zig clearance formula

tasonir wrote:You'll end up using fire storm/whatever level 9 spell much, much more often than you use iron shot in a zigg, but there's very little point to having both fire storm and glaciate and shatter. You'd be better off replacing one of those with an iron shot, bolt of fire, etc. I usually like iron shot for the universal damage type, but your call. IMB/OOD could also apply.


The point of fire storm (besides doing damage) is:
- smite targeted
- getting a lot of distractional fire-thingies (which might be bad because out of LOS the AI will react to them and might summon stuff)

Glaciate:
- it is a point-blank spell which cannot miss
- everything else within the cone will also take damage :)
- it will create an area (cone) where some monsters don't like to walk into.

Both are extremely useful.
I have difficulties to come up with a use for bolt spells when you have these at your disposal in a Zig. Bolt spells miss/blocked sometimes at a cost of 6. FS+Gl will never miss.

Spider Stomper

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Post Wednesday, 29th March 2017, 04:33

Re: Zig clearance formula

papilio wrote:Noise thing means nothing in zigs once you start the combat in the floor. Noise only matters when the combat didn't begin
(because everything in the floor notices, shouts and swarms to you when the fight begins)


Noise/stealth matters at the start .... and at the end depending on Zig-Size.
In later Mega-Zig levels after clearing 50%-70% you can (with exc. st.) stay in a corner and missile (not spells) everything to death as long as they trickle into your LOS.
Not every battle has to decided by 100% big destructive spells.
Confusing spells (like ZINs: Recite) will send some monster away for some time.

Shoals Surfer

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Post Wednesday, 29th March 2017, 05:15

Re: Zig clearance formula

[quote="tasonir"][quote="TonberryJam"]for the price of 37 Int and max skill levels in spell casting and required schools for level 9 spells, you can have the affordable luxury of level 9 spells that cost 1 unit of hunger. And i bet you thought those +6+7+8+9+10 Int items were worthless.

I'd always favor hitting 150 or 200 spellpower over more mana. My casters tend to run amulet of regen with a mana ring/enhancer or two enhancers or sometimes double mana, mostly if I don't care about going beyond 100 spellpower.

I always thought each floor type had good spells to use to disable most threats.
Death Channel works well on the first few zigs, I know that. And you can throw in Animate Dead at any point. It's interesting to test every spell out in wizmode to see how it actually works. A lot of spells that hinder the chance to hit you are interesting in zigs.

Abyss Ambulator

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Post Wednesday, 29th March 2017, 18:31

Re: Zig clearance formula

Infestation works well, too, in the first few Zigs.

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