Shoals vs. Swamps


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Spider Stomper

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Post Tuesday, 15th April 2014, 20:49

Shoals vs. Swamps

So, is it just me, or are the Shoals WAY more difficult than the Swamp?

Overall threats in the swamp seem much weaker, and you pretty much know what to expect - poison resistance handles most everything and on Swamp:5 you'll want either fire or ice resist depending on which branch ending you get.

Shoals have a much wider diversity in threats and the individual threats seem much stronger. Heck, I know I'd rather face a swamp dragon than a merfolk javelineer any day. Poison resistance renders the swamp dragon's breath impotent and then I can finish him off with ease as he fruitlessly spams his breath in my face. Meanwhile the javeliner hits me every turn with massive physical damage from far away...

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Post Tuesday, 15th April 2014, 21:03

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Yes Shoals is the hardest Lair branch and Swamp is the easiest.

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Post Tuesday, 15th April 2014, 23:08

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

I usually don't have much trouble with Shoals, just a bunch of mermen.
Swamp, a thousand hydras and the 27 head one!

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 00:31

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

It is hard for me to think of a build for which Shoals would be easier than Swamp. Very few things in Shoals have see invis, but for the most part that's also true of Swamp. So kind of a wash there.

Really bad floors or unique spawns can easily make one more dangerous than the other, but on average, Shoals is most dangerous. Snake and Spider are pretty close for second place, really depends on the build. Then Swamp. In my opinion (tm).

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 00:38

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

new shoals is just cruel
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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 01:14

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

FR: If Ilsuiw steps next to a kraken, she uses the kraken as a mount.

This would make Shoals more interesting

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 01:28

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Patashu wrote:FR: If Ilsuiw steps next to a kraken, she uses the kraken as a mount.

This would make Shoals more interesting


tentacles?

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 01:47

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Patashu wrote:FR: If Ilsuiw steps next to a kraken, she uses the kraken as a mount.

This would make Shoals more interesting

Bloax please sprite this

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 03:44

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

For me, the order is definitely Swamps, Spider, Snake, Shoals. I feel like Spider is Snake with less magic and more enemies that die in two hits, but it's more prone to random acts of annoying than Swamp (Ran into Mennas there once, that was fun)>
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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 04:53

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Fucking javelineers holy shit.

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 04:57

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Going into the spider nest on my GrEE, I was originally worried about ghost moths sapping my MP, or tarantellas confusing me, or orb spiders spamming orbs of destruction at me. Then I realized I could one-or-two-shot all of those with Lee's Rapid Deconstruction.

The only enemy that actually posed a threat to me was emporer scorpions. They take a ton of hits to kill and hit like a rookie at the blackjack table.

So for me, in terms of easiest to hardest, I would agree with Teshi: Swamp, Spider, Snake, Shoals.
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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 06:32

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Depending on my build, I will seriously consider doing Vaults 1-4 before stepping into shoals, especially if I haven't found Repel Missiles.

Meanwhile Swamp almost always boils down to "Do you have rPois and the ability to fight Hydras without consumables? Okay, you're good."

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 07:01

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

I think that you overrate shoals somewhat, even more - some of you seem to play a different game. Unlike other branches, shoals have a pleasurable ending if some stealth was trained. One can avoid most fights on the bottom level and either apport rune (no fighting at all!) or use some consumables to clear just one small vault. Compare that to snake or swamp endings, where enemies spawn in huge numbers around the rune.

Surely javelineers/aquamancers are dangerous if evasion is close to zero and HPs around 60, but honestly - so are naga sharshooters, thorn hunters and OOD spiders. Snakes put on top of that brutal techniques of blink enemies closer, poison amplification and constriction. That's even further challenging with lightning snakes, which hurt even when they die. rPois or big stash of curing is almost mandatory for snakes and spiders, while for shoals reasonable dodging is enough. On top of that, I have never seen raging javelineer on shoals:5, but I have seen raging emperor scorpion on spider:5.

Difficulty of each sub-branch really depends on a character build. In general shoals and snakes are harder for melee characters while spiders are more difficult for spellcasters (and annoying for melees because of orbs of destruction). Swamp is universally annoying, still potentially very dangerous with thorn hunters and spriggan packs. Cold/undead endings can be a nasty surprise and progress stopper for anyone without resists / means of dealing appropriate damage.

Side note: I have ongoing character which was super-effective in shoals: ashenzari spellcaster with freezing cloud and deflect missiles. I was able to identify rune vault thanks to ashenzari's enemy detection, then use single invisibility potion and kill everything without losing a single HP (maybe some very insignificant amount). The vault fight took less than 50 rounds. I definitely could not get a rune so easily from any other branch ending.

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 07:06

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Bart wrote:while spiders are more difficult for spellcasters.


I really don't see how. Maybe a GrEE is simply different from other spellcasters, but I obliterated the spider nest with little trouble.

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 07:08

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Klown wrote: Shoals, just a bunch of mermen.
Swamp, a thousand hydras and the 27 head one!


Yes, exactly, that's why swamp is easier.

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 07:21

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Here's the thing about hydrae. They're dangerous if you encounter them in the lair, while you're still low level and probably lack a means to take them on. By the time you get into the swamp they're nothing. They have no ranged ability whatsoever, so any caster or ranger who can do enough damage to take them out before they reach melee range will have no problem. As for fighters, you should have a good fire weapon and plenty of AC by the time you reach the swamp, at which point they become almost trivially easy.

As for the Lernaean Hydra... I couldn't tell you. I've been playing this game for years but somehow I've never met LH even once that I can recall.

The only hydra that should ever cause you any serious problem is Red Skull, especially if your shield skill is too low.

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 08:26

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Knight9910 wrote:
Bart wrote:while spiders are more difficult for spellcasters.

I really don't see how. Maybe a GrEE is simply different from other spellcasters, but I obliterated the spider nest with little trouble.

Spiders are extremely fast, so spellcasters have hard time keeping them away. Actually, spiders also hit quite hard if your AC is low and evasion only decent, which is the case of most spellcasters. Fighting tarantellas is even more dangerous with spellcaster-ish defenses because of confusion (not unusually more than once in the same combat). Spiders tend to have above average EV (or am I wrong?), which does not help bolt users. Eventually, there are ghost moths, serious pain in the ass without sInv. Even with sInv you should kill them fast... or be able to deal with them with empty mana bar (not favorite sport of my conjurers!)

As for your GrEE, you skipped the part:
Bart wrote:In general

Why was it easy for you? A lot of AC and built in poison immunity. Furthermore, LRD does not miss.
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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 13:44

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Shoals: highly damaging ranged attacks and fast-moving, high-impact monsters and high-damage reach-attack monsters. And one crazy lady at the bottom. And limited accessibility maneuverability unless you have flight, can swim, or wait a lot, or are really patient with blink.
Snake: slow-moving monsters now with high-damage non-magical ranged attacks, some poison, and later on some nasty ranged magic.
Spider: fast-moving, sneaky monsters who bounce around the board, perpetual dances with orbs of destruction, and lots of now-deterministic poison
Swamp: slow-moving player unless you have flight or swimming, annoyance creatures everywhere neutering auto-explore and tabbing too far from being capable of attacking said creatures, and hydrae in water. Plus alligators.
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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 14:01

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

tl;dr javelineers and aquamancers are easily the most dangerous things that can ever spawn in any of the 4 Lair branches. And there is a unique which is literally a large pack of javelineers and aquamancers.

if your AC is low and evasion only decent, which is the case of most spellcasters.

No it isn't. Not if they are competent at Crawl, anyway.

Spiders tend to have above average EV (or am I wrong?), which does not help bolt users.

I have no idea if that is right or not, but it is a significant advantage for magic compared to melee. Because unlike melee, there are spells which completely ignore EV (at least one in every offsensive school).

Eventually, there are ghost moths, serious pain in the ass without sInv. Even with sInv you should kill them fast... or be able to deal with them with empty mana bar (not favorite sport of my conjurers!)

Apart from the fact that I can just cast invis to fight ghost moths (yes, really), they are highly dangerous to melee characters as well (unless you are playing some idiot-proof combo like HOBe where nothing is highly dangerous), and I always prefer to fight them with magic, because even if I run out of MP before killing them, I can dramatically weaken them at range.

EDIT--Thought I should add that ghost moths used to be exclusive to Zot, and in that case they actually were primarily a threat to spellcasters, because by that point in the game, they were not very threatening in melee. The move to a much earlier part of the game made them much more dangerous physical threats while simultaneously making their mana-drain much less important (less mana to drain, no orbs of fire to walk around the corner).

Spider is not particularly hard for any character build, btw. It is next to impossible if you try to do it while underlevelled, though.

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 14:58

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

I feel the same way as a lot of others here, in order of easiest to hardest:
Swamp
Spider
Snake
Shoals/Vault 1-4

A lot of the time, a character that has a pretty easy time of vault 1-4 still has some ugly moments in shoals, due to the fact that it's practically impossible to break up the bands in shoals, and tactics go out the window if you get mesmerized. Of course in vaults a lucky convoker who refuses to die can spell a lot of trouble too.

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 15:05

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Shoals is much easier if you have sources of invisibility (I always use it vs Ilsuiw), Vaults do not have such easy solution.
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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 15:26

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

I play mostly Trog Tanks.
So 90% of encounters for both aren't dangerous.

Fish out of water who can't do anything if you walk around a corner(or dig a diagonal wave of doom). Not really restrictive, you just stay on the island and draw everyone out. Not to mention it's the only branch that won't poison you to Hell.
vs.
mega poison dragons, hydras, in a wide open area loaded with water and no digging.

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 15:33

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

If hydras are anything but harmless, you should not be entering Lair branches.

If poison matters, you are doing something wrong.

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 16:39

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

We're picky, aren't we?
TheDefiniteArticle wrote:tl;dr javelineers and aquamancers are easily the most dangerous things that can ever spawn in any of the 4 Lair branches. And there is a unique which is literally a large pack of javelineers and aquamancers.
Why do you even bother to say anything if you didn't read?
Have you fought unique sharpshooter pack? Easy? How do you rate bone dragons and tentacled monstrosities (swamp ending)? How about thorn hunters and shambling mangroves? I rate them all, together with javelineers and aquamancers, as very dangerous (deal with caution, one by one and don't cry over consumables).

TheDefiniteArticle wrote:
if your AC is low and evasion only decent, which is the case of most spellcasters.

No it isn't. Not if they are competent at Crawl, anyway.
Apparently I'm doing it wrong, having 10str and 15dex on spellcaster (yes, I've wasted my level ups into int) and therefore having EV around 20 @ lair.
I am eager to hear more about your scale mail spellcasters at xl15 with great AC and EV, who still have sufficient spellpower to actually kill stuff with spells.

TheDefiniteArticle wrote:
Spiders tend to have above average EV (or am I wrong?), which does not help bolt users.
I have no idea if that is right or not, but it is a significant advantage for magic compared to melee. Because unlike melee, there are spells which completely ignore EV (at least one in every offsensive school).
Bolt users. People want to use bolt spells sometimes. LRD, fireball, conjure lightning all make a lot of noise. I have used them plenty of times in spiders (except conjure lightning) and it is not a pure pleasure in cavernous spider levels, where enemies can (and do) come from every side.

TheDefiniteArticle wrote:Apart from the fact that I can just cast invis to fight ghost moths (yes, really)
Yes? REALLY? How did you find it out? :O I'm very happy that you have found invisibility source! too bad more often I don't have it than I do. I'm happy to compensate with consumables like agility, brilliance etc., but they still don't make moths trivial opponents.

TheDefiniteArticle wrote:I always prefer to fight them with magic, because even if I run out of MP before killing them, I can dramatically weaken them at range.
How do you safely deal with weakened moth? To recall, we are talking about a monster that is faster than most characters and executes 3 attacks each round, and zero mana prevents any spellcasting/abilities use. My wands miss more often than usual (except fireball wand; maybe I still have a charge or two), my summons do not see a problem, my melee is laughable compared to moth's. You know what? I'll win the combat somehow probably. I do not challenge stuff unnecessarily, but after this fight I will have zero mana and any enemy spawning in my LoS will be great threat again. I do not say in this way that moths are the easiest enemies of low level warriors, yet warriors are supposed to deal with monsters in melee anyway; they for some reason slash/whip/smash moths much better than casters.

TheDefiniteArticle wrote:If poison matters, you are doing something wrong.
Man, seriously, you apparently know how to do everything better than we do. Too bad you don't share your knowledge, but instead are impolite and post meaninglessly.

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 18:42

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Knight9910 wrote:Here's the thing about hydrae. They're dangerous if you encounter them in the lair, while you're still low level and probably lack a means to take them on. By the time you get into the swamp they're nothing. They have no ranged ability whatsoever, so any caster or ranger who can do enough damage to take them out before they reach melee range will have no problem. As for fighters, you should have a good fire weapon and plenty of AC by the time you reach the swamp, at which point they become almost trivially easy.

As for the Lernaean Hydra... I couldn't tell you. I've been playing this game for years but somehow I've never met LH even once that I can recall.

The only hydra that should ever cause you any serious problem is Red Skull, especially if your shield skill is too low.

You deal with the Lernaean Hydra the same way you deal with normal ones, because it's pretty much just a regular hydra with bigger numbers. It hits a lot but the individual hits are weak, so with good AC and the ability to kill it at a reasonable pace there's not too much danger. Though it's one of the few times in the game where having low (or no) GDR compared to your AC is actually noticeable, since 27 attacks per turn means you have a lot more chances to get unlucky AC rolls.

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 18:56

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Lerny actually has really good accuracy (it's tied to HD and Lerny's HD is huge precisely to give it more accuracy than those silly regular hydras possess).
Its HP aren't too good though, so you might be able to wand it if you have the range.

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 19:27

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Bart wrote:We're picky, aren't we?
TheDefiniteArticle wrote:tl;dr javelineers and aquamancers are easily the most dangerous things that can ever spawn in any of the 4 Lair branches. And there is a unique which is literally a large pack of javelineers and aquamancers.
Have you fought unique sharpshooter pack? Easy? How do you rate bone dragons and tentacled monstrosities (swamp ending)?

Neither bone dragons nor tentacled monstrosities have ranged attacks that slice your character in half like javelineers do. Also getting knocked back from the stairs after eating ice shards for breakfast in Shoals:5 is just jolly.

(But yes, invisibility is really nice in Shoals:5).

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 19:41

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Thorn hunters and spriggan druids are the toughest enemies in swamp, in my opinion. Thorn hunters in particular are probably tougher to deal with than javelineers on average.

I agree with Bart, shoals has the potential to be quite easy; it is the only lair branch where you can consistently ninja the rune with minimal effort. Hard enemies aren't so hard if you don't encounter them, after all.

To me the question of which is harder is relatively meaningless though, because the answer is "it depends". For a given character you can rank the branches. But for a general comparison... there are too many factors that have an effect.

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 20:48

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

It does depend, and thus varies, but one can still generalize. Shoals is open to invisibility abuse but is usually the hardest. Yes adding those erstwhile Forest enemies to Swamp toughened it up quite a bit, but thorn lotus and thorn hunters usually aren't too hard to avoid in my experience and don't spawn in large packs. Aquamancers pushing you around and engulfing you, lots of ranged and melee damage, and mesmerization are all extremely nasty. Then throw in quite a few tough fast enemies, such as sea snakes and harpies, and open terrain (albeit with chunks of diggable walls strewn about). That's Shoals in a nutshell.

Snake has some (relatively) new shenanigans as well from guardian serpents and the new enemies and the like, but nearly all of the dangerous stuff and bad effects come from enemies that have very slow movement. Only anacondas are fast and still dangerous by this point (black mambas should not be giving you trouble by the time you are getting deep into a Lair rune branch), and outside of the rune vault proper you are very unlikely to face off against more than one anaconda at a time.

Without rPois Snake probably is worse than Shoals (with or without flight) because p arrow and venom bolts hurt, and similarly with access to renewable invisibility Shoals (with or without flight) probably also sinks below Snake in difficulty even if you do have rPois. But otherwise I'd tend to rank Shoals as more dangerous for most characters.

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 23:16

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Bart wrote:-snip-


Well, apparently I'm a million times better than you too because I have no idea what you're talking about. If you're using bolt spells only in Spider then you're doing it wrong. I went through that entire branch using LRD almost exclusively and I didn't get swarmed and die horribly, which you're claiming is the only inevitable result of using LRD. Actually, I kicked that branch's ass.

And it's not just because I'm a gargoyle either. My GrEE has 44 AC with stoneskin on, and only 13 of that is from being a gargoyle - plus I've leveled up a bit since I took on Spider. And you know what? I could EASILY have my AC even higher - I've been slacking on my AC because being a gargoyle covers for it somewhat. For reference, I'm using ring mail and my spell failure chance is only 1%, even with level 5 LRD. Granted, part of that is Ashenzari, but most of it is because wizards really do not need to be squishy in this game.

And ghost moths? I kill them in about two hits with LRD, and the one time I ran into one away from the walls I killed him with Mystic Blast almost as easy.

Lastly, you know, again: you REALLY should not be going into the swamps, snake pits, or spider nest without having rPois. Gargoyles have it a bit easier, not only starting the game with rPois but also being immune which means enemies can't stack poison until they overcome your resistance like they can with a lot of other characters. But still, if you reach the poisonous lair branches and you don't have any way of resisting poison you should probably run Orc or the rest of L and D first and try to get a ring of poison resistance. If you STILL don't have any way of resisting poison at all after all that... I don't know what to tell you. I guess your character is just a wash. :\

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 23:33

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

@Knight9910

I hope you realize who you are talking to. You can find Bart here

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 23:37

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Which means that he really should not be having that much trouble with this. How does a player on the top scores list have no idea how to get AC on a caster, and no idea why he needs rPois for the swamp?

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 23:39

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Knight9910 wrote:you REALLY should not be going into the swamps, snake pits, or spider nest without having rPois

This is completely false.

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Post Wednesday, 16th April 2014, 23:43

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Knight9910 wrote:Which means that he really should not be having that much trouble with this. How does a player on the top scores list have no idea how to get AC on a caster, and no idea why he needs rPois for the swamp?


I think Bart can answer you better but I encourage you to think about +2 aptitude for Earth, +1 aptitude for Armour and +5 ring mail randart which your Gr has.

Edit. Here is my DDEE with AC 15 at XL 20

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Post Thursday, 17th April 2014, 03:49

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Bart wrote:Have you fought unique sharpshooter pack? Easy?

Slow movement. Automatically easy.

Even in a head-on confrontation where you, being a crazy person, stand in the open and trade shots with them, sharpshooters are just weaker javelineers.

How do you rate bone dragons and tentacled monstrosities (swamp ending)?

Speed 10. No ranged attack. LOL. Basically every single other thing in Swamp is more dangerous. Biggest threat in swamp is normally alligators tbh, which really says it all.

How about thorn hunters and shambling mangroves?

Shambling mangroves are entirely harmless as long as you can survive for five seconds without EV. Thorn Hunters are, again, crappy javelineers at best.

I am eager to hear more about your scale mail spellcasters at xl15 with great AC and EV, who still have sufficient spellpower to actually kill stuff with spells.

http://crawl.akrasiac.org/rawdata/thede ... 194112.txt
http://crawl.akrasiac.org/rawdata/thede ... 001920.txt

Note that the Gr had 'decent' AC for most of the game even ignoring Gr bonus. Further note the Gr used OTR as a primary offense, and the only reason I cast it one thousand times instead of 5 thousand times, is that Wyrmbane is so ludicrously OP that it played the second half of the game for me.

Don't remember all the details on the HE, but you can see that he was wearing a cool randart scale mail and casting regularly at XL15, and upgraded to chain mail the instant he found a good one.

I would show you more, but my other online wins are all Draconians, which I assume you will tell me "don't count".

without lucky +5 ring mail you would have AC at most 25 (assuming +2 robe instead).

What universe are you living in where ring mail is "lucky"? And what the fuck are you doing walking around with 19 EV in a robe at XL20, is that a joke? In a robe you should have more EV than that before you finish Lair.

Bolt users. People want to use bolt spells sometimes. LRD, fireball, conjure lightning all make a lot of noise. I have used them plenty of times in spiders (except conjure lightning) and it is not a pure pleasure in cavernous spider levels, where enemies can (and do) come from every side.

The nice thing about spells that make noise is that when more monsters show up, you just cast it again, and those monsters are dead.

How did you find it out? :O I'm very happy that you have found invisibility source! too bad more often I don't have it than I do. I'm happy to compensate with consumables like agility, brilliance etc., but they still don't make moths trivial opponents.

Find it? It's only in the most common spellbook. AND Enchanter starts with it. AND potions and wands exist.

How do you safely deal with weakened moth?

Hit it. That was the point of weakening it obviously.

my melee is laughable compared to moth's

Why didn't you train melee?

I do not challenge stuff unnecessarily, but after this fight I will have zero mana and any enemy spawning in my LoS will be great threat again.

No because, as a player who is not stupid, I will have basic melee competency, and have better defenses than 6 AC and 70 HP.

TheDefiniteArticle wrote:If poison matters, you are doing something wrong.
Man, seriously, you apparently know how to do everything better than we do. Too bad you don't share your knowledge, but instead are impolite and post meaninglessly.

There's nothing to impart, Redbacks and Merfolk impalers with venom weapons (another thing in Shoals that is tougher than every monster in every other Lair branch) are the only things that ever cause any serious amount of poison past the early game. Other than those two and adders, the poison mechanic exists only as annoyance. In Zot you could maybe stand in poison clouds for a dozen turns if you weren't careful, but even that it almost purely annoyance. Oh I guess that one new naga type can do real poison, but it is a naga not named greater naga so lolharmless. It's honestly crazy how that works; Lamia was just a greater naga with bigger numbers and even she managed to be incapable of killing an awake player. Like somehow only greater nagas can ever be truly dangerous.

The real reason to have rPois in snake/spider is so you don't have to press 5 after literally every fight. Also so you don't waste a bunch of bread rations. For real, naga poison spit is so totally harmless it is a cantrip. Every time they do it it is like, "hallelujah, thanks for totally wasting your turn instead of trying to hurt me" It does 1d10 ferchrissake.

tl;dr this thread this terrible, Bart is terrible at playing CASTAHS, Knight9910 is a cool dude who I would totally have drinks with

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 17th April 2014, 04:08

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

I like getting Shoals in my games. Monsters are more fun to kill if they actually try to resist, and there's a slightly higher chance of getting loot that is actually useful.

Slime Squisher

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Post Thursday, 17th April 2014, 04:29

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Shoals is about the best branch, especially now that harpies don't eat food and manticores are less harmless. Just need to get rid of sirens/mermaids (and make alligator snapping turtles actually spawn :twisted:).

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Post Thursday, 17th April 2014, 04:50

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

I do want to make it clear, I'm not hating on the shoals. Actually, I kind of like them. They're easily the most unique branch out there. The Greco-Roman theme is really cool. (Why don't more branches have themes like that? Tomb is Egyptian, but that's about it.) Krakens are at least ten types of awesome. The wide open feel, while definitely harmful to my earth elementalist (so few places to use LRD!), is kind of refreshing after being in the dungeon for so long.

That said, I kind of dread having to go through the shoals. The tide system can make exploration slow if you're not a flyer or swimmer. The enemies are fairly tough too.
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Post Thursday, 17th April 2014, 05:08

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Knight9910 wrote:I do want to make it clear, I'm not hating on the shoals. Actually, I kind of like them. They're easily the most unique branch out there. The Greco-Roman theme is really cool. (Why don't more branches have themes like that? Tomb is Egyptian, but that's about it.) Krakens are at least ten types of awesome. The wide open feel, while definitely harmful to my earth elementalist (so few places to use LRD!), is kind of refreshing after being in the dungeon for so long.

That said, I kind of dread having to go through the shoals. The tide system can make exploration slow if you're not a flyer or swimmer. The enemies are fairly tough too.

Yeah, Shoals has a lot more personality than the other Lair branches and the challenge is pretty fun. The guaranteed boss fight with Illsiuw is one of my favorite and most dreaded things in the game.

Sar

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Post Thursday, 17th April 2014, 06:12

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

TheDefiniteArticle wrote:AND Enchanter starts with it.

Not anymore!
  Code:
Replace Invisibility with Dazzling Spray in the book of Maledictions

Invisibility was the last level 6 spell in a starting book, and was very powerful and game-changing for Enchanters - more so than was appropriate for a starting spell, considering the strength of the rest of the book. Dazzling Spray grants them a weaker alternate method of stabs instead. Added Invisibility to the book of Burglary (replacing Apportation which is which is already in 3 other books).

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Slime Squisher

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Post Thursday, 17th April 2014, 06:23

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Oh awesome. And Burglary got even cooler!

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Post Thursday, 17th April 2014, 06:36

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

I agree with Knight: great theme, would rather not have to dare it. Heck, I had boots of flying and no rPois on my current DDFi, and I still would've rather wandered into Swamp lol. Shoals was tearing me up a bit. But I'm probably just still bad at DD. I feel like the only really threatening foes on Swamp:1-4 are the Thorn Hunters (and maybe the Vapours if you have no sInv). Autoexplore behaved a little wonky with permaflight in Shoals though... it was naturally trying to explore every corner of the map, which would be fine, but it'd miss little squares here and there, so it was doing multiple laps around the map. I do have to say I rather like the harpy change (which really just spares you tossing your permafood to one side while you fight).

Plus it didn't spawn me a single Kraken. So disappointing. :\
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Post Thursday, 17th April 2014, 07:35

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Thalfon wrote:Plus it didn't spawn me a single Kraken. So disappointing. :\

Krakens seem to be quite rare. I remember the very first time I went to Shoals there was a Kraken there (which IIRC even killed me). After that, most of the times I haven't seen one in there. Or maybe they're just lurking in corners.
DCSS: 77: ...SpWz{OgGlTrMo}{CeWnMfBeMiSk}DrEE{GrFiFoGl}DgEnFeNe{OpGlHuSu}DDAr
HaCKSpAEGrTmDgFEDsCjGhMoHuVM{HaAMBaEn}{HuMoHOWn}DsWzDDHu{DgWnGnBe}FeIE
{MiEnMfCj}SpNeBaEEGrFE{HaAKTrCK}DsFESpHu{FoArNaBe}FeEE{HOIEMiAE}GrGlHuWrGnWr
Bloat: 4: RaRoPrPh{GuStGnCa

Spider Stomper

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Post Thursday, 17th April 2014, 08:13

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Krakens are most often to be found in deep water, which will make them rare to find for characters who have to stick to land. They're also kind of difficult to finish off, due to their tendency to spray ink and run when they're hurt.

Slime Squisher

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Post Thursday, 17th April 2014, 08:17

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

@TheDefiniteArticle, you can escape from sharpshooters, but it doesn't make them less formidable once you challenge them. You do not have to challenge these, Ilsuiw/javelineers either. Bone dragons and tentacle monstrosities are easy to escape (flight helps), but they're tough once you fight them (bonus: monstrosity constricts, bone dragons trample, both effectively blocking stair use). Shambling mangroves hit for 40+ damage, unsafe with AC~20 and no EV for 3 turns+. Underestimated=deadly. Thorn hunters cast spell preventing easy escape, javelineers don't.

You link to characters at winning point, not at xl15. Gr has innate AC and that's disqualifying. You should not tell if base AC was decent enough, because on top of that you had Gr innate bonus. High Elf Skald, although cool, was a hybrid unable to kill with spells - that was not mentioned case.

+5 ring mail is quite lucky. Usual mail is rather +2. ?oEA are precious and possibly a waste on a rmail. 19EV at XL20 alone seems low, yet is absolutely fine on Deep Dwarf.

Noisy spells have a serious disadvantage - when monsters keep showing up, you find yourself at some point with no mana and you retreat, and waste a lot of turns to regenerate that mana... oh wait, didn't you say recently one shouldn't overuse spells against "popcorn"? Maybe it was not a popcorn, after all? Fighting whole levels in spiders is not even so dangerous standing on stairs. It is inefficient, though, because it takes a lot of time(turns) to clear whole level, it's not very helpful in means of exp, eventually it forces to use multiple staircases and each untested staircase is potentially dangerous, especially once the level is awake.

Only one class started with invisibility. The spell requires great investment, so it's a rare commodity at xl15. I think also that I have enough wins to be allowed to talk statistically. Wands are very rare at xl15. Rings somewhat rare. Potions very limited. From my experience, most characters can't afford casting invisibility on every demand even at xl27 and spiders have more than one moth usually.

Training melee early requires experience. I think that we at least agree that I should rather start with magical skills as a spellcaster, then get some defenses, then... sorry, these spellcasters aren't all worshippers of Ashenzari and my exp is mostly limited to these categories at xl15. I might get melee competency at the price of spellpower or spell success rate. Ghost moths aren't something I want to kill with basic melee competency, though. 6AC is bad, but 12AC not unusual at this point of game, species and findings dependent. If I have 6AC on a troll, I do not quit nor die in rage, but try to evaluate risks and still somehow cope with lemons crawl gave me.

The reason to have rPois in snake/spider is that red poison is deadly. A stack of 15+ curing at xl15 is unusual for characters who could make use of them. If I cannot dodge multiple poison arrows/venom bolts/spits, and I cannot without EV 30+ / deflect missiles (that's something I rarely have at xl15), poison is going to stack and potentially kill. Funnily, opinions on rPois vary a lot. I do not approach snakes and spiders without rPois if possible. Bear in mind that parrow wreaks havoc even if you have rPois, not talking about situations without (really Gargoyle is out of discussion). It's better to prevent than to cry over. rPois isbarely useful in late game, which on the other hand completely misses the point of the discussion.

@Knight, just shortly - without dump it's hard to refer to your gargoyle. Furthermore, your Gr using Earth spells is in no way representative for anything else than GrEE. I tried to evaluate danger of lair branches bearing in mind dozens of my playthroughs with absolutely different builds, probably 80% of which finished these locations without close calls. Please do not extrapolate your single results and please consider that there are other viable builds than Gr, which on the other hand might have different difficulties than yours.

tl;dr?
I thought the point of this topic is to share experiences and to evaluate what might be difficult in different cases, not trying to prove each other how wrong he is and how bad does he play. Can we keep the forum the former way?

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Post Thursday, 17th April 2014, 08:35

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

I've been playing this game for years. I'm pretty sure I've played more characters than just one single gargoyle earth elementalist. So yeah, I do know what I'm talking about when I say that, overall, the shoals are much harder than the other lair branches. I mean, not counting slime pits, of course.

Abyss Ambulator

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Post Thursday, 17th April 2014, 17:05

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

What I want to know is where do I get DefiniteArticle's version of dungeon crawl? All characters have invisibility, poison doesn't do anything, ghost moths are easy, +5 randart ring mail is common.... wow, that's easy mode.

Barkeep

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Post Thursday, 17th April 2014, 17:33

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Shoals vs. Swamp

Rnd 1

Shoals uses "vanilla merfolk." It isn't very effective...
Swamp uses "Bog Body." It isn't very effective...
Shoals uses "Cool Odyssey Theme." It is abstractly effective!
Swamp uses "Enemies Formerly Known From the Abortive Forest Branch." It is super annoying!
Shoals waits for the tide to change...
Swamp struggles to find a credible ranged threat...
Shoals uses tough Javelineer/Aquamancer pack! It is super effective!


Rnd 2

Shoals uses improved Manticores! They are moderately effective!
Swamp uses potion of invisibility! It is overwhelmingly effective!
Shoals accuses Swamp of cheating and rage-quits.


Rnd 3

Swamp is interrupted by nearby disturbances...
Shoals uses Kraken. OHKO.


Verdict: Shoals wins.

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Post Thursday, 17th April 2014, 18:07

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Merfolk javelineers could use being less overpowered. (Oh and fauns and satyrs are also forest abominations which are found in shoals now specifically to make it even worse.)
Viashino_wizard wrote:
Patashu wrote:FR: If Ilsuiw steps next to a kraken, she uses the kraken as a mount.

This would make Shoals more interesting

Bloax please sprite this

Image
Did someone call?
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.

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Dungeon Master

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Post Thursday, 17th April 2014, 20:10

Re: Shoals vs. Swamps

Bloax wrote:Merfolk javelineers could use being less overpowered.
I suspect this will come with the territory of my ranged combat rewrite.

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