The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes


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Halls Hopper

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Post Monday, 3rd August 2020, 18:05

The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

Seriously, let's address the difficulty spike between clearing out the: Dungeon, Ork Shaft and Lair to attempting the first three Runes.

I have won the game two times, once off line and once on line.

Three Rune run.

I have composed an exquisite walk through for new players, one that makes getting up to the Runes a breeze, but then getting the Runes, particularly the third one, just feels far too difficult.

The 'Elven Hauls' and the 'Depths' are much too difficult to be visited after the exploration Phase.

Spoiler: show
Sense of mental direction

(Elyvrine) Dungeon
Lair
Ork Mines
(When on the last floor of Ork Mine, focus on going up the new stairs first)
(See Lair entrance, train only Invocation, up to level 6)

Randomly selected two
(Elyvrine) Swamp
Shoals
Snake pit
Spider nest
(You decide the first level out of the two randomly chosen)

(Elyvrine) Vaults
(Shining 1) Crypt
Vaults

(Zin) Depths
Elven Hauls
Orb

My concern is that, the game is so difficult, that most people can only see it as random weather or not you win, they don't understand people can win all the time.

Is there anything in this game that can address the difficulty Spike?
Last edited by HawkI on Monday, 3rd August 2020, 19:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Halls Hopper

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Post Monday, 3rd August 2020, 19:40

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

I don't think its a part of the game that needs made easier, but things could definitely be made more clear. This is a huge decision making point, and unless you know more then you should about the game, more then the game tells you, then you are doing it with imperfect information and though trial and error.

Part of it is you just need to do spider a bunch to know what kinds of characters can clear spider easily, need to do shoals a bunch to know what kind of character can clear shoals easily, ect. But the whys of it can be unclear even after many runs though the game. Hidden stats like what the players attack is actually doing, learning how the many bizarre enemy effects found in rune branches affect you and all of their weird quirks, GDR, ect. make this section of the game extremely difficult to learn because this is when the things the game hides from you really become really relevant.

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Post Monday, 3rd August 2020, 20:41

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

Well, braveplatypus is essentially right, you have to splat a lot of characters to learn where to go first. Under the spoiler are my opinions on which path to follow.

Spoiler: show
Dungeon
Lair (when you are XL 11)
Orc
Finish the Dungeon (up to D15) if you haven't already
Then do one of
Snake
Swamp
Spider
Shoals
until the third floor.

Which one is the most dangerous is variable. Snake has shock damage, but you can use wands against electric snakes. Shoals needs MR, Spider needs rPois, Swamp is more physical and I generally find it less deadly, if you are careful; it's the best place to use a mirror.

Once you have done the first three levels of the first rune branch, go back and do the other one. Then do the last level of the one you left earlier.

Now you can do Elf or Vaults (up to level 4). Elf needs MR and doesn't hold a rune. With Elf, you need to be very careful and do some backtracking to break up enemy groups. I find that this doesn't work very well in Vaults, where it's more important to quickly kill whatever attacks you.
Once you have done Vaults 4, you can do Crypt. If you do, don't enter the Tomb. Leave Vaults 5 for later.

Do the Depths.

Do Vaults 5.

Do Zot.

Win the game.
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Tomb Titivator

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Post Monday, 3rd August 2020, 21:28

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

I honestly don't experience a difficulty spike at all.
The only spike I hit is the end of D where I get bored of the character and stop paying attention XD
TBH I'm now a somewhat decent player (recently completed a lairless DelverDs), so maybe I wouldn't notice the difficulty spike.

Your guide looks like it introduces massive unnecessary difficulty spikes, each time you change god. Honestly just don't do Crypt if you can't do it without TSO (unless you want the Hell runes). Ely is perfectly fine for the whole game. Especially don't switch out of Ely before getting the Vaults rune. V:S is one of the places where Ely really shines, because no-waiting health gain is very good when you can't stairdance. Also Elf can -often but not always- be done a lot earlier, and Slime is -often but not always- easier than V:$. If you want an easy game it's usually worth doing both Slime & V:$.

The branches you pick should depend on your character. Orc needs MR, Elf is easy if you have all (or most of) the resistances, Spider needs rPois, etc. Of course you still need to have enough xp, even if you are set up well for a branch, and you can complete any branch with a unappropriated character if you're overleveled enough. (ie if you have no resistances but you've made it to XL 27 you can probably do Elf). Slime and V:$ need one of a large set of very specific strategies, and you need to build your character towards such a strategy. (ie Ignition for Vaults, or stealth+melee for vaults, or Ely+Melee for Vaults, there's many more)

On the whole I agree with braveplatypus, that dying in Vaults & Slime & Elf is currently part of learning to play DCSS, and maybe it doesn't need to be.

Crypt Cleanser

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Post Monday, 3rd August 2020, 21:53

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

Spider does not require rPois. There are zero sources of poison damage in spider that aren't either an attack flavor or from a unique in the branch. Poison attack flavors require the monster to be in melee range of you, hit you, beat your AC roll, and beat a one_chance_in(3) roll to do anything at all, then rpois has a 2/3rds chance to prevent applying poison, then it applies the poison status, which can be cured by a potion of curing or by pressing 5 if you end the fight with non-lethal poison. Obviously it's better to have rpois than to not have it (same for relec, MR in case louise generates, rF in case asterion summons a balrug, etc), but most players overestimate the effect of rpois in spider by a lot. The branch is relatively easy to clear without it across a wide range of character types, albeit you'll probably have to rest more. Poison resistance is somewhat more useful in snake, where it reduces the damage of bolt of venom and (partially) poison arrow among other things, though of course it's not needed to clear that branch either. I am much more concerned about having good AC in spider than I am about having rpois.

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Post Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 01:10

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

a) Swamp is quite dangerous without some way to kill hydrae; they go fast in water, so, unlike in Lair, running away isn't a general solution.

b) I think Shoals is the most dangerous for new players; the threats are very different from the ones you encounter in D, Lair and Orc, and you can lose freedom of motion in multiple ways. Retreating and splitting packs is still a good idea, but a lot of other things are different.
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Post Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 01:32

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

BTW, See Invisible is pretty good in Spider, especially if you are a caster.
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Post Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 02:09

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

As is rCorr; entropy weavers can make a situation much more dangerous.

Cocytus Succeeder

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Post Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 05:36

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

When I tried to comprehend the original post, I googled "Elyvrine" and the machine said "It looks like there aren't any great matches for your search". So I gave up.

Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 11:59

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

Magipi wrote:When I tried to comprehend the original post, I googled "Elyvrine" and the machine said "It looks like there aren't any great matches for your search". So I gave up.


Oh, you know what I mean, http://crawl.chaosforge.org/Elyvilon I just spelled the God's name wrong.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
I just want to thank you all so much for practically finishing my walk through. I've played this game for over 500 hours and I never got that the character's natural abilities are the decider for which Rune to go for first. That would have taken me at least another 200 hours to figure out.

My walk-through is not so much an instruction manual, as it is a, non spoiler guide, on how to make the game more accessible.

In total, it's about three pages long, with not much to read. (Fancy graphics, large spacing and bullet Points)
Last edited by HawkI on Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 12:05, edited 1 time in total.

Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 12:02

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

petercordia wrote:Your guide looks like it introduces massive unnecessary difficulty spikes, each time you change god.


Only the 'Shining 1' can give you arguably the best weapon in the game, A blessed Demon Weapon. Elyvilon, Shining 1 and Zin are a Polytheism for beginner players.

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Post Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 13:13

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

I do not think a blessed demon weapon is that good. It is good in the extended part of the game, but it is not so good before that: its brand is useless against most enemies. For example a demon whip of electrution is better during a standard 3 rune game than a sacred scourge.

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Post Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 13:21

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

About the difficulty spike: I second those who tell you that there are no difficulty spike around the first rune (or elswhere). There are just way too many things the game does not tell you. Apart from opaque abilities of monsters and dungeon features (webs, shallow water, etc.), there is an addition layer: character build.

Good tactics is way more important to win the game than character build (skilling, choice of weapon, equipment, gods, etc.), but nevertheless if you feel a difficulty spike then there is a strong likelihood that your character builds are suboptimal, therefore you feel your character weaker compared to the (stronger and stronger) enemies as the game progress on. Note that with good tactics and good knowledge of various effects you can win with deliberately badly skilled characters, but still, if you do not skill/equip well then you will feel weaker compared to the monsters as the game progresses.

This is one area where Tavern may give you advice! (Altough it may give you bad and contradicting advice...) So just ask and enjoy the quarrel of players.

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Post Wednesday, 5th August 2020, 05:19

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

sanka wrote:About the difficulty spike: I second those who tell you that there are no difficulty spike around the first rune (or elswhere).

I am quite surprised at this. In my experience, there is a significant difficulty spike at this point. Granted, some D:15 endings are quite tough (fire giant, frost giant) and compared to those rune branches are not much harder. But they are much harder compared to late D in general.

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Post Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 13:52

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

HawkI wrote:Only the 'Shining 1' can give you arguably the best weapon in the game, A blessed Demon Weapon. Elyvilon, Shining 1 and Zin are a Polytheism for beginner players.

Trog and Okawaru can give you arguably the best weapon in the game, an arbitarily good randart. Gozag can give you arguably the best weapon in the game, or rather, the cash to buy it without compromising on the rest of your shopping list. Lucy can give you arguably the best weapon in the game, a bardiche of distortion. Jiyva can give you arguably the best weapon in the game, a slimy one that kills what it hits. Chei can give you arguably the best weapon in the game, one wielded with tremendous strength.

Yred can give you arguably the best weapon in the game, a ball of zombies that grows as it kills. Vehumet? Absolute Zero. Uskayaw? Grand Finale.

The polytheism for beginner players is monotheism.
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Halls Hopper

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Post Wednesday, 12th August 2020, 12:01

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

Holy's not even particularly valuable in a 3 rune game. Very little in the dungeon, lair, the lair branches, slime, vaults, depths, and zot respect it.

You'd much rather have anti-magic or vampirc. Also farming TSO piety before extended is like pulling teeth.

Halls Hopper

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Post Wednesday, 12th August 2020, 14:47

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

Elyvilon; Let's you have: an invulnerability shield, heals you, and turns Hydras neutral, and you gain Piety by exploring.

Shining1; Gives you: Allies who Heal you and the best weapon in the game.

Zin; Heals your mutations, protects you from mutations and gives you a whole cease fire sanctuary to roam around in.

This Polytheism allows you to transfer your Piety. CLEARLY, this is what a Noob would need.

Shoals Surfer

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Post Wednesday, 12th August 2020, 15:25

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

HawkI wrote:Elyvilon; Let's you have: an invulnerability shield, heals you, and turns Hydras neutral, and you gain Piety by exploring.

Why isn't the shield good in Zot? Why isn't healing good in the Vaults? Why isn't turning dangerous monsters neutral good later on?
Shining1; Gives you: Allies who Heal you and the best weapon in the game.

Why are those allies only good in Vaults?

As already pointed out, lots of gods give you arguably the best weapon in the game - and actually, a sacred scourge isn't that good a weapon in a 3-runer.
Zin; Heals your mutations, protects you from mutations and gives you a whole cease fire sanctuary to roam around in.

Why is the sanctuary not good until Depths? Why is Recite not good in Orc, where it can affect everything, but is good in Zot, where it can't affect the most dangerous non-unique monster in the game?
This Polytheism allows you to transfer your Piety. CLEARLY, this is what a Noob would need.

It lets you keep half your piety. You know what lets you keep all your piety? Monotheism.

I'll tell you what I needed when I was new; I needed a god who gave me my health back every time I killed something. Simple and effective.

Perhaps after two wins you are not really in a position to make accurate pronouncements here. You - obviously - don't even know what it's like to win the game with at least one of these gods.
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Halls Hopper

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Post Wednesday, 12th August 2020, 15:36

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

You don't get it, the change over of the Gods plays into the narrative of the original game.

Noob
"Yikes, there be dead things in the Vaults, mmm I better change God." "Yikes, there are so many things hated by Zin trying to mutate me in the Depths, I better change God."

Halls Hopper

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Post Wednesday, 12th August 2020, 15:38

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

damerell wrote:

I'll tell you what I needed when I was new; I needed a god who gave me my health back every time I killed something. Simple and effective.

Perhaps after two wins you are not really in a position to make accurate pronouncements here. You - obviously - don't even know what it's like to win the game with at least one of these gods.


I like the idea of that God.

I have spent so many weeks playing this game, don't even go there.

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Post Wednesday, 12th August 2020, 16:02

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

The god that gives health each time you kill something is Mahkleb. You can actually play with him.

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Post Wednesday, 12th August 2020, 16:48

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

Magipi wrote:
sanka wrote:About the difficulty spike: I second those who tell you that there are no difficulty spike around the first rune (or elswhere).

I am quite surprised at this. In my experience, there is a significant difficulty spike at this point. Granted, some D:15 endings are quite tough (fire giant, frost giant) and compared to those rune branches are not much harder. But they are much harder compared to late D in general.


I agree that monsters in the Lair rune branches tend to be somewhat stronger than monsters in the late dungeon. I do not feel that this is a real difficulty spike because the progression of the strength of monsters in the last 12 levels (in my usual order: 6 levels of lair, 2 levels of orc and 4 levels of late dungeon (12-15)) is very very slow, while your character is almost sure to become much stronger. Compared to this the strength increase of monsters is not that much.

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Post Monday, 17th August 2020, 11:29

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

sanka wrote:I agree that monsters in the Lair rune branches tend to be somewhat stronger than monsters in the late dungeon. I do not feel that this is a real difficulty spike because the progression of the strength of monsters in the last 12 levels (in my usual order: 6 levels of lair, 2 levels of orc and 4 levels of late dungeon (12-15)) is very very slow, while your character is almost sure to become much stronger. Compared to this the strength increase of monsters is not that much.

I think what mostly gets me there is a change of pace. It's not so much that the monsters are more threatening as that they are new kinds of threat and I need some time to adjust - just as one of the reasons I don't often streak (besides not being very good) is the tendency to start the next game without remembering that hobgoblins are dangerous again.
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Post Monday, 17th August 2020, 17:17

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

sanka wrote:I agree that monsters in the Lair rune branches tend to be somewhat stronger than monsters in the late dungeon.

In my opinion, they are not "somewhat" stronger, they are much-much stronger. Every Lair branch is full of debilitating monsters that can murder you in a flash. In Spider there are tarantulas that confuse and jumping spiders that net you. In Snake there are guardian serpents (plus every snake constricts). In Swamp there are thorn hunters, mangroves and spriggan packs. And Shoals is worse than all the others combined. I've never had any character who went through Shoals without having some very close escapes.

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Post Tuesday, 18th August 2020, 09:10

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

If you want to become a good player, start to learn from your deaths. Every time you die you must ask yourself - "why did I die?" Typical answers are "I didn't have proper resistances", "my attack was too weak", "I wasted XP by training foo", "I should have run away from that unique" etc.
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Post Tuesday, 18th August 2020, 10:14

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

BTW, I think that the need for running away may be one reason why lair branches feel harder: the first level has just one staircase. So, if you are forced to run away, it's likely that you will have a blob of alert enemies over there.
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Post Tuesday, 18th August 2020, 14:29

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

Shtopit wrote:BTW, I think that the need for running away may be one reason why lair branches feel harder: the first level has just one staircase. So, if you are forced to run away, it's likely that you will have a blob of alert enemies over there.

Disjoint O:1 is really bad for that; you can get a single chokepoint to which you've attracted the contents of the room of bastards (er, final vault). I often regard magic mapping and a bit of digging on O:1 as resources well spent.
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Post Wednesday, 19th August 2020, 01:20

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

VeryAngryFelid wrote:If you want to become a good player, start to learn from your deaths. Every time you die you must ask yourself - "why did I die?" Typical answers are "I didn't have proper resistances", "my attack was too weak", "I wasted XP by training foo", "I should have run away from that unique" etc.


The problem there is that I think one needs to be at least a decently good player to answer that question correctly. For example, I don't know how to distinguish between inadequate offense and inadequate defense, besides by comparison with my prior games when I won; so a new-ish player won't have that. And should I have run away from that unique, or fought it differently? (As a new player, I learned to fear many monsters that I no longer regard as particularly scary; because I didn't know how to fight them.)

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Post Sunday, 23rd August 2020, 20:12

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

andrew wrote:The problem there is that I think one needs to be at least a decently good player to answer that question correctly. For example, I don't know how to distinguish between inadequate offense and inadequate defense, besides by comparison with my prior games when I won; so a new-ish player won't have that. And should I have run away from that unique, or fought it differently? (As a new player, I learned to fear many monsters that I no longer regard as particularly scary; because I didn't know how to fight them.)


That's true unfortunately, but asking those questions is first step in correct direction. When I was learning to play this game, I copied game file before fighting dangerous monsters and tried different tactics to see which one is the best. That was a long time ago when the game was not as user friendly as it is now. For instance, monsters didn't have spells, HP or MR in their description. Now you don't need to save scum when learning, you can either play in explore mode or carefully check description of all monsters/spells/items etc.
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Post Monday, 24th August 2020, 02:57

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

I suppose it at least gives a focused question to post here; "was it my offense or defense that was inadequate?" is a better question than "why did I die?"

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Post Monday, 24th August 2020, 11:58

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

My mind is still positively blown by how it's the Species you play as that helps determine which of the first two runes to go for first. I've played this game for over a 1000 hours and that was never obvious to me. I imagined the choice was down to the game play, how wrong I was.

Here's a page from my accessibility guide.

Spoiler: show
General
Right click on Monsters to learn more about them
Fight at: The front of corridors and in nooks and crannies
Your ability to fight is only affected once you are near starving
The maximum level of any character, and any skill, is 27
There is no reason not to possess these; Lamp of fire, Phial of Floods, A Lightning Rod, and a Fan of Gales
Wand of: Fire against Eels, Change against the creatures that change colour
Read the scrolls that you have more than one of for unknown scrolls
Read Scrolls of Identify for unknown Potions
Scroll of acquirement, only go for Jewelry
Not every Monster can open doors
Save scroll of mapping for when you fall down holes and suspected last rooms of dungeons
When you fall down, only focus on going up
You can wear cloth hat over horns
Javelin against Bees
Potion of Fly beats Constriction, Holes and Nets
The Bow shoots things behind your target when you miss
Use Potion of Experience on used stats that have negative modifiers
Potion of Resistance + Scroll of Immolation
You can use stairs whilst Berserk

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Post Monday, 24th August 2020, 14:00

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

most of these look like good ideas / advice / rules of thumb for beginners

some of these are, or will soon be, outdated:

Your ability to fight is only affected once you are near starving (food is removed)
There is no reason not to possess these; Lamp of fire, Phial of Floods, A Lightning Rod, and a Fan of Gales (Lamp of Fire & Fan of Gales are removed)
Scroll of acquirement, only go for Jewelry (acquirement behaviour is changed, also this was never more than an okish rule of thumb)

Some others I was unaware of:

Javelin against Bees
Potion of Fly beats Constriction, Holes and Nets

And these I disagree with:

Use Potion of Experience on used stats that have negative modifiers - experience doesn't work that way, potion exp is affected by negative modifiers too
Save scroll of mapping for when you fall down holes and suspected last rooms of dungeons - they are also very useful for finding timed portals, and they're never really necessary for suspected last rooms of dungeon (though you can do it for convenience if you have enough of them, you have plenty if you're not doing extended)

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Post Monday, 24th August 2020, 14:10

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

petercordia wrote:Some others I was unaware of:

Javelin against Bees
Potion of Fly beats Constriction, Holes and Nets


I'm not so sure about Nets and Constrictions, but Holes are good.

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Post Monday, 24th August 2020, 16:35

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

petercordia wrote:Some others I was unaware of:

Javelin against Bees

This can really be generalized to "Use attacks that can try to hit more than one thing against packs of fast things that are hard to hit, like bees" (The idea being that you need to kill them all as quickly as possible and even if you miss some of them, you're likely to hit one or more at a time) I frequently use javelins, acid wands, thunderbolt, shock/lightning bolt, or searing ray against bees, if I don't have one of those, a ranged weapon is a good choice because you might miss one or two but still hit *something* while missing with a melee weapon just misses the one time and that's that. Clouds(and cloud-like things, like frozen ramparts) are even better than bolts/ranged weapons (they don't miss, and you can damage a bunch of things at the same time), and while explosions (like fireball) are theoretically good (because they don't miss) with fast critters like bees you're likely to be in melee range where you'll be doing significant self-damage and/or can only hit one thing very quickly, also they're loud, so overall the benefits are pretty muted (other than LRD, which you can smite target *and* doesn't miss, so it continues to be effective even when you have bees at melee range, although it's still loud)
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Post Monday, 24th August 2020, 18:18

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

Wand of fire? Wand of change? "Used stats"? "Only go for Jewelry"?

I really hope that this is not an actual guide for new players.

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Post Monday, 24th August 2020, 18:29

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

Magipi wrote:Wand of fire? Wand of change? "Used stats"? "Only go for Jewelry"?

I really hope that this is not an actual guide for new players.


Yeah, what's the problem with that?

I think I'm gonna try beating it a couple more times, then refine the accessibility guide, then maybe have some people here look over it, before I release it.

Spell check doesn't like English Spelling :( Only go for Jewellery

Edit:- Used Stats, as in, the active stats, the stats you are currently using/training.

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Post Monday, 24th August 2020, 20:19

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

I think Magipi's objection (or one of them) was that the "Wand of change" is actually called "Wand of polymorph" and the "Wand of fire" is actually called "Wand of flame". (And the "creatures that change colour" are called "ugly things". And I suspect what you're trying to say there is that you should use a wand of polymorph if they're of a color that you have trouble with.)

Edit: the issue with "used stats" is that the things that potions of experience improve are called "skills", not "stats" ("stats" are Str, Dex and Int). All nomenclature, but using terms other than those used in the game will be pretty confusing to a newbie.

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Post Monday, 24th August 2020, 23:04

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

let this comment live as an attempt to communicate to new players that the advice in this thread is highly unreliable at best and not to rely on it or look upon it as authoritative or good, on the off chance that any of the dozens of guests are real unregistered human beings looking for help with crawl

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Post Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 05:10

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the "always acquire jewellery" advice, and I just can't. Let's set aside the problem that acq was changed lately, and look at the older versions. This advice is so blatantly wrong. Even if you only play octopodes, it is still wrong. I just don't understand the logic.
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Post Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 10:39

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

HawkI, if you feel disheartened by these answers, remember that there is a concept I have seen expressed a few times in slightly different forms: "I once wrote a guide, and Tavern never forgave me for this".

You actually remind me of an attempt I myself made when I had two wins (3 and 15), I wanted to make a spellguide. As it turned out, there was more for me to learn than what I could teach.

A few things I would add:

- Run away when necessary, which can be very often; run away preemptively, too - get a sense of when things are destined to go bad, and also get a sense of when it's possible for things to go bad, because this is a game with a lot of fights, and playing taking risks will kill your character, sooner or later.
- Put some points into Evocation, because it gives you added options + flexibility as a fighter and an alternative to MP as a mage.
- Use tab to attack: it reduces the risk to kill yourself without noticing, and makes ranged and polearms a lot less tedious.
- Explain which monsters can open doors: it's normally those with hands, plus ugly things, Natasha, tentacled monstrosities and starspawns, and a few more (Xthauha can crash through them). I think you can x-v it now.
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Post Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 12:59

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

Shtopit wrote:HawkI, if you feel disheartened by these answers, remember that there is a concept I have seen expressed a few times in slightly different forms: "I once wrote a guide, and Tavern never forgave me for this".

You actually remind me of an attempt I myself made when I had two wins (3 and 15), I wanted to make a spellguide. As it turned out, there was more for me to learn than what I could teach.

A few things I would add:

- Run away when necessary, which can be very often; run away preemptively
- Use tab to attack: it reduces the risk to kill yourself without noticing, and makes ranged and polearms a lot less tedious.



Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, this makes sense to me, you want this to go on forever. I once heard a Podcast of Game Developers with a Special guest developer from Stone Soup (The one who added the Slime Rune) and a developer yelled at him "Why can't you just let people beat this game, so they can get on with their lives?!"

I like the Run Away advice
I have the press Tab advice in the button page of the 'Blue Print' non spoiler, accessibility guide.
Last edited by HawkI on Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 13:04, edited 2 times in total.

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Post Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 13:01

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

Magipi wrote:I'm still trying to wrap my head around the "always acquire jewellery" advice, and I just can't. Let's set aside the problem that acq was changed lately, and look at the older versions. This advice is so blatantly wrong. Even if you only play octopodes, it is still wrong. I just don't understand the logic.


One word; Resistance.

Many of the Rings and Pendants you get from these scrolls harbor multiple resistances & Stat Bonuses.

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Post Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 13:02

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

ZipZipskins wrote:let this comment live as an attempt to communicate to new players that the advice in this thread is highly unreliable at best and not to rely on it or look upon it as authoritative or good, on the off chance that any of the dozens of guests are real unregistered human beings looking for help with crawl


Yet... I've beaten this game TWO times.
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Post Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 13:50

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

HawkI wrote:Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, this makes sense to me, you want this to go on forever. I once heard a Podcast of Game Developers with a Special guest developer from Stone Soup (The one who added the Slime Rune) and a developer yelled at him "Why can't you just let people beat this game, so they can get on with their lives?!"

I am unclear on what you mean by "you want this to go on forever"; I have nothing against people beating the game, if that's what you mean.
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Post Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 13:58

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

Shtopit wrote:
HawkI wrote:Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, this makes sense to me, you want this to go on forever. I once heard a Podcast of Game Developers with a Special guest developer from Stone Soup (The one who added the Slime Rune) and a developer yelled at him "Why can't you just let people beat this game, so they can get on with their lives?!"

I am unclear on what you mean by "you want this to go on forever"; I have nothing against people beating the game, if that's what you mean.


Elitists are all the same, they want their field of expertise to have an infinite amount of knowledge.

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Post Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 14:21

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

HawkI wrote:
ZipZipskins wrote:let this comment live as an attempt to communicate to new players that the advice in this thread is highly unreliable at best and not to rely on it or look upon it as authoritative or good, on the off chance that any of the dozens of guests are real unregistered human beings looking for help with crawl


Yet... I've beaten this game TWO times.


crawl is simultaneously not so hard that beating it makes you an instant expert and also not so simple that beating it an arbitrary number of times makes you an authority on its mechanics or strategy

edit: removed some sarcasm
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Post Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 18:23

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

HawkI wrote:Elitists are all the same, they want their field of expertise to have an infinite amount of knowledge.

Crawl is a pretty big game, however. This wasn't a case of elitism; two wins mean that you have found out how to win with max. 2 combos. You still have mages vs fighters, fast vs normal vs slow, spriggan vs small vs medium vs large, a number of kinds of gods, cases like felids and octopusses, lots of different branches where to get the three runes (even just choosing between Silver, Abyssal and Slimy isn't that obvious). Mages also play fairly different from each other. Then you have choices like "which armour", which gets fairly iffy with dragons (so a swamp dragon armour is pretty fantastic for a certain character, but you wouldn't want it on a fighter with plate), the shield vs no shield vs reach skill breakpoint (buckler or medium?)...
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Post Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 18:37

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

HawkI wrote:My mind is still positively blown by how it's the Species you play as that helps determine which of the first two runes to go for first.

What determines which of the S runes you go for is which branch you think you are least likely to die in (something you may reassess depending on how they play out). Obviously species can affect that.
Javelin against Bees

Javelin against, depending on the number of javelins you have, anything at a distance or anything nasty at a distance. What's special about bees?
Use Potion of Experience on used stats that have negative modifiers

Eh? If a skill's worth training, it's worth training, whether the XP comes from killing or potions.
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Post Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 19:29

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

HawkI wrote:One word; Resistance.

Many of the Rings and Pendants you get from these scrolls harbor multiple resistances & Stat Bonuses.

It sounds like you might over-value resistances, they're good, but not as good as say, a significant weapon upgrade would be.

Obviously for the old ?acq you need to evaluate what you're most lacking in and shoot for an improvement in that category, but *most* of the time the thing that had the best chance of being the largest upgrade for your first ?acq (which was often your only one) was going to be a weapon, if you get an acquirement scroll later in the game, you may already have a very good weapon, in which case your chances of getting an upgrade are slim, and you can only use one weapon at a time, whereas you can use multiple bits of armour/jewelry so the chances of you having a less-stellar slot to fill later in the game is larger.

But the fact is that you should use it immediately when you get it, and you should use it on the slot most likely to provide a benefit to your character as it is right now, suggesting that that's "always jewelry" is simply incorrect. With the new scroll of course, the rule becomes irrelevant.
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Post Wednesday, 30th September 2020, 15:42

Re: The difficulty spike from exploring to getting runes

I literally just lost right now on DCSS as a Formicid Fighter. Wielding a Double Handed Sword and a Kite Shield. I cleared out the Ork Mines, the Lair, the Dungeon and two bonus areas: fight arena and Volcano. YET; Upon entering the Spider's Nest I felt under-powered, I then went to the Shoals, and I still felt under-powered. I only put my gained base Stats into strength the entire game. Flummoxed, I went into the Depths and then I lost.

I'm at a Loss. I really am.

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