Getting past the middle game


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

Temple Termagant

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Joined: Sunday, 13th May 2018, 11:52

Post Sunday, 13th May 2018, 12:17

Getting past the middle game

I've been Crawling for about a month now, usually when I ought to be doing something else. I can fairly consistently get to level 9 or 10 and have learned a few nifty tricks, of which my favourite is hoarding spellbooks under Trog and dropping them in front of nasties so I can zap them with Burn Spellbooks when they step on them. The best I've done so far is to clear the Dungeon to level 11 and then down to level 5 of the Lair only to be undone by orb spiders. I was on my way to doing something similar and had almost cleared Level 11 when I fell through a shaft to Level 13 and was immediately surrounded by some very nasty types that I wasn't able to deal with. Otherwise I seem to be hitting a ceiling.

Should I try another strategy, andf if so, what? I want to get through as a fighter before I try being a magic user. Or should I just keep plugging away?

(Yes, I know I misspelled 'minotaur' in my user name. I was having a bull-headed moment).

Shoals Surfer

Posts: 258

Joined: Sunday, 6th November 2016, 19:19

Post Sunday, 13th May 2018, 16:43

Re: Getting past the middle game

When I was a new player, I made a thread asking for advice and used that to get my first win : viewtopic.php?t=22309

There's also an extremely good new player guide here : http://www.ultraviolent4.com/Guide.html ... Survivable

I would continue playing MiBe, that's a very strong combo.

The most common tactics you can implement to up your chances of winning are:

- When you see an enemy in your LoS, don't move towards it. This can reveal more enemies, and gets you in a good habit of doing other actions such as using consumables / god abilties / evokables etc. which can help put the chances of winning a fight in your favour.

- Always escape EARLY. If you HP goes below like 60 -70% , slow down and re-consider the situation's danger.

- use x-v on enemies to see their maximum damage and what dangerous abilities they have. It lets you see how many turns you can reasonably stand against them(e.g if you HP is 100 and the enemy's max damage is 25, you can at least take 3 max damage hits before dying.)

It's all about danger assessment and smart play.
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Tomb Titivator

Posts: 795

Joined: Friday, 2nd October 2015, 04:47

Post Monday, 14th May 2018, 08:15

Re: Getting past the middle game

Don't underestimate Throwing. Even a few random javelins versus early ogres, or a bunch of tomahawk throws over time versus things just standing around on the edge of your vision (perhaps on the corner of some island/fortress just for example), can be very effective. Eventually, you're also likely to be able to accumulate quite a few tomahawks between Orc and the Bailey or more advanced orc patrols in Dungeon.

If the opposition has little/no ranged attack or is spending much of its time moving toward you, those are free hits (or maybe relatively stronger hits than theirs) you can rack up. Just make up your mind in advance what you're going to do if you don't hit a charging meanie very much. You can think about where you'll run toward, where to stand in fight, or which consumable you'll pop as the next attempt to hammer it. It takes some practice to get a firm sense of which mobs are likely to power on toward you and which ones actually get whittled down how reliably. I still make silly mistakes with this occasionally, years later. Anyway, yes try to be aware of what else you can do before you're in melee.

If you prefer more ammo or get a chance to take advantage of a big random enchantment on one, the humble hunting sling also isn't bad and it cross-trains with Throwing, too.

Also on the subject of ranged fire, even an untrained or only slightly trained shortbow or crossbow can sometimes do a lot of damage in early game. But that also takes some tinkering to figure out which mobs are actually vulnerable enough. It's something to try when you have little else, or when the opposition only needs another hit or two and you have space (often happens with bat-like, or random blinking mobs).
Some wins!
0.20/Trunk + Yiuf: ImpGl^Oka (3), BKWn^Oka (3), ImpWn^Veh (3)
0.19 DECj^Veh (4), another (3)
0.17 GhMo^Makh (15), OgHu^Oka (5), DDFi^Makh (4), DDEE^Makh (4), HOGl^Qaz (3)
0.16 TrMo (6), OgBe (5), DDFi x2 (3-4)

Temple Termagant

Posts: 5

Joined: Sunday, 13th May 2018, 11:52

Post Tuesday, 15th May 2018, 13:59

Re: Getting past the middle game

Thank you for both of the answers so far.

The first came I played after Vajrapani's sound advice I was back in the Lair again with a ring of poison resistance (I find I have a problem accumulating sufficient poison resistance but decided that would have to do). In addition to a +6 named Great Sword I had an arbalest – I like to collect arrows and bolts as well as stones early on and nick a bow from the first centaur I encounter. Centaurs are the only monsters I deliberately rush rather than try to escape or lead them down a corridor, but on this occasion an arbalest was lying around on Level 7. I had a +1 falchion of flame which I picked up to keep in reserve for hydrae. I had a well-charged Wand of Polymorph, mainly for dealing with electric eels but handy as a last resort for a lot of other unknown beasties. I really felt nothing could stop me, especially after a really tough Level 4 of the Lair. Then I went downstairs and found a bunch of yaks. Not even death yaks, just yaks, and I got cocky and thought I could just wade into them with my sword...

...I got trampled to death. I had to drink several large neat gins before I could forgive myself for that lapse.

I'm guessing hubris is the biggest killer in the dungeon.

Shoals Surfer

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Joined: Tuesday, 14th April 2015, 19:56

Location: France

Post Tuesday, 15th May 2018, 16:00

Re: Getting past the middle game

Spyridon the Minotor wrote:I'm guessing hubris is the biggest killer in the dungeon.

This
3 runes : MiMo^Ru, HOFi^Beogh, TrMo^Yredelemnul
5 runes : GrEE^Vehumet
15 runes : MiFi^Ru, NaWz^Sif Muna
I mostly play offline or online on CXC

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 5184

Joined: Friday, 25th November 2011, 07:36

Post Tuesday, 15th May 2018, 17:42

Re: Getting past the middle game

Yaks in an open room are very deadly; you really want to try to get them into a corridor or somewhat enclosed space, so you only fight 1-2 at a time. You might be overestimating poison resistance, though. For one, having a ring of poison resistance is 100% the most resistance you can have on a MiBe, that is more than enough. Even without one, poison damage is pretty slow and you should be able to just kill poison type monsters fast enough to not take much damage. The one really threatening poison monster in lair are black mambas, which are very fast, so they can be an issue. Still, if you can land a hit through their good evasion, they don't have much health.

In short I'm not saying poison resistance isn't a good thing, just that it isn't mandatory. Definitely wear it if you have it and there's mambas around :)

As for ranged weapons, both bows and crossbows are great, but I'd be a bit careful about training for one in the early game. You probably want to focus on raising your melee weapon/defensive skills. First get good at one thing, then branch out later to become more versatile. It isn't as helpful to be bad at two things.

Snake Sneak

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Joined: Wednesday, 30th August 2017, 23:08

Post Tuesday, 15th May 2018, 17:56

Re: Getting past the middle game

Spyridon the Minotor wrote:I find I have a problem accumulating sufficient poison resistance but decided that would have to do


Tasonir mentioned this, but just to make sure to hammer the point home - one source of poison resistance is the most you can typically get. Two rings of poison resistance don't stack, for example. There are a few ways to get poison immunity, but they're either very rare items (that you probably won't be using on a berserker anyway,) or spells (ditto.)

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 15th May 2018, 19:01

Re: Getting past the middle game

Also for a MiBe, if you get significantly poisoned, or even just significantly hurt, consider throwing on Trog's hand. It's a powerful regeneration ability and it'll keep you alive through even fairly heavy poison (although really heavy poison can outpace it). It's best used somewhat early, of course, as it's healing over time and it won't save you if you might die the next turn. Try heal wounds potions for that - but even better is to not be in situations where you're so badly hurt in the first place.

Temple Termagant

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Post Tuesday, 15th May 2018, 22:50

Re: Getting past the middle game

Ok, I'm just about to enter the Lair again. This time I'm Spyridon the Minotaur Fighter, serving Trog with *** of piety. I'm wearing +0 (can't be enchanted) Quicksilver Dragon Scales, +0 small shield, +0 boots and +1 gloves, a +4 amulet of reflection, a ring of see invisible, and a ring of protection fom fire, I have amulet of faith and protection from magic and a ring of protection from magic in reserve. I'm carrying a +3 long sword as my weapon of choice and have made all my kills with it. I have wands of flame, paralysis, digging, polymorph and disintegration. I am well-stocked with potions of curing (6) and heal wounds (4), also 5 potions of might and 5 of haste, along with 5 so far unidentified potions (this campaign has been remarkably short of scrolls of identity. Long blades trained to 13, armour to 9, Is there anything else I need before going down there this time?

Oh, and I had a lot of fun getting to this point. While clearing Level 10 I fell through a trap to Level 12 and found myself right next to a beehive. Now, as it happens in real life I'm not too unhappy around beehives and know how to handle myself around them, but in this game of killer frogs I wasn't trusting this one. So I hastened through a series of doors, fortunately with nothing too nasty behind them, and dropped down to Level 13 and a small empty room with four doors. The first one was trouble right away and it was no good slamming the door. An Efreet who wasn't taking no for an answer, and some unspeakable friends. I had no intention of dying here so I polymorphed the Efreet into an Apocalypse Crab, drank a potion of might, a potion of agility and a large glass of gin, and with nothing to lose I went full berserk mode and hacked it to bits. I'm fond of eating fresh crab but I wasn't hanging around to taste this one.

I'm suspending the game at the entrance to the Lair and going to bed now. I'll resume operations tomorrow when I'm feeling fresher (and the gin has worn off)

Zot Zealot

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Post Wednesday, 16th May 2018, 03:35

Re: Getting past the middle game

That efreet's scimitar is an upgrade over your long sword.

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bel

Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Wednesday, 16th May 2018, 22:17

Re: Getting past the middle game

When asking for advice here, you should post a character dump. It makes the advice more concrete.

Temple Termagant

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Post Wednesday, 16th May 2018, 22:46

Re: Getting past the middle game

I don't really do concrete, I'm more your abstract, creative, writerly type. If you know who I was you might be surprised.

I asked, I got helpful advice that took me to the stairs to to the Lair of Beasts. then I got some more helpful advice, and I advanced into the Lair, cleared it and came out again. That's all I wanted, and that's what I got. I didn't enter the Labyrinth, the Volcano, the Swamp ot the Snake Pit while I was there,

I then cleared Level 12 and ascended again to enter the Orcish Mines, where on Level 2 I succumbed to a Stone Giant with a whole army of ogres. though not without a spirited fight and the assistance of Trog's Enraged Brothers. I'll know better next time.

Meanwhile I've set swords aside and am trying my hand with axes.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Friday, 18th May 2018, 06:43

Re: Getting past the middle game

Spyridon the Minotor wrote:If you know who I was you might be surprised.
this is so ominous, what the hell

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Fingolfin

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Friday, 18th May 2018, 19:17

Re: Getting past the middle game

Spyridon the Minotor wrote:I'm carrying a +3 long sword as my weapon of choice and have made all my kills with it.

One thing that repeatedly happens with new players is they see an enchanted weapon and stick with it far, far too long. It's possible that a long sword is one of the few/only swords that you've seen so far, but it's likely there's a better sword in your game. There's a few numbers that matter with weapons, but for 95% of situations, only two matter: Base damage, and base delay.

A long sword is 9 base damage and 14 delay (also called 140%). So it takes 1.4 turns or 14 auts to swing with 0 skill, and every 2 skill levels in a weapon lowers the delay by 1 (or 10%). Min delay is the fastest you can swing a weapon with high enough skill, and is a very important thing to try to reach. For a long sword that's 14 skill, which makes the attack delay 7 auts (.7 turns). No melee weapon in the game is slower than 7 auts (crossbows are 10 auts, and there's an unrand dark maul which is slower). So you have the slowest min delay on a weapon with only 9 base damage; this is very bad.

A scimitar is 11 base damage for the same 14 delay; it's pretty much just straight up better. That being said there's still better swords than it - demon blades are 12 damage at only 13 delay, which means their min delay is 6. In my opinion the strongest sword is the double sword, which is 14 damage for 16 delay. Back before reposte was added, they had 15 damage, which is very high for a 1h weapon.

This is kind of rambling at this point but the goal here is just to say that a 9 base damage long sword is pretty bad even with +3; you'd be better off using a scimitar assuming you have any decent long blade skill, which shouldn't be a problem for a minotaur. And then if you can find an actually good sword like a demon blade or double sword, those are endgame weapons. If you want to go two handed, a great sword is very good, and pretty common. Triple swords are great for the end game but they take a lot of skill to use effectively, and they're also rare. You shouldn't really ever use a long blade unless it's literally the only sword you can find.
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Barkeep

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Post Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 01:25

Re: Getting past the middle game

duvessa wrote:
Spyridon the Minotor wrote:If you know who I was you might be surprised.
this is so ominous, what the hell

it's werner herzog
I am not a very good player. My mouth is a foul pit of LIES. KNOW THIS.

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Airwolf

Temple Termagant

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Joined: Sunday, 13th May 2018, 11:52

Post Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 10:50

Re: Getting past the middle game

Pfff! Poor girl's Wim Wenders! Wrong sex dear ;)

Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 13:58

Re: Getting past the middle game

Spyridon the Minotor wrote:Pfff! Poor girl's Wim Wenders! Wrong sex dear ;)


Doing character research for ``Harry Potter and the Orb of Zot''?

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Barkeep

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Post Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 17:39

Re: Getting past the middle game

Spyridon the Minotor wrote:Pfff! Poor girl's Wim Wenders! Wrong sex dear ;)

second guess: Spinderella
I am not a very good player. My mouth is a foul pit of LIES. KNOW THIS.

Slime Squisher

Posts: 378

Joined: Thursday, 16th June 2011, 18:36

Post Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 19:28

Re: Getting past the middle game

[deleted]
Won with: KeAE^Sif, NaWz^Sif, NaTm^Chei, SpEn^Nmlx, GrEE^Qaz, HOFE^Veh, MiBe^Trog, DrFE^Hep, FoFi^Zin.
In Progress: VpEn of Kiku, who died thinking batform could evade or endure a couple acid splashes.
Long-term goal: complete the pantheon.

Spider Stomper

Posts: 198

Joined: Saturday, 29th October 2016, 17:41

Post Thursday, 24th May 2018, 14:49

Re: Getting past the middle game

Fingolfin wrote:
Spyridon the Minotor wrote:I'm guessing hubris is the biggest killer in the dungeon.

This



Pretty much. If you are getting to this level and still dying you have to work on gaining an understanding of what is unnecessarily risky and how to avoid. You need to develop your escape strategies better both how to escape but more important when and keep a better eye starting engagement such that escaping is possible.

You should probably play a few character who cultivate stealth, maybe play some octopodes. Of course you will die, but it can give some insight into things.

To illustrate what I mean let's use this example; let's say you are often playing a Be of some sort with good armor. In this case a White Ugly Thing is often something you may tab kill. But on an evasion character with low armor the branded attack of a WUT does a shit load of damage. So on something like a non-statue Op you need to approach that radically differently, whereas a statue form Op is fine. A base Op needs to not have something else attacking them when fighting a WUT early or possibly avoid it entirely with stealth or kill it from range.

Basically you are just getting fooled by the randomness of Crawl. Even with high defenses it is possible to take high damage in crawl, you gotta understand relative risks for your character and always be ready to pull the trigger or preferably start with an appropriate strategy to minimize risk when you recognize something dangerous.

Halls Hopper

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Joined: Saturday, 21st September 2013, 06:55

Post Wednesday, 13th June 2018, 02:01

Re: Getting past the middle game

tasonir wrote:Yaks in an open room are very deadly; you really want to try to get them into a corridor or somewhat enclosed space, so you only fight 1-2 at a time.


This is CRUCIAL.

And not just yaks, whenever possible always, always, always try to lure whatever you are fighting into a corridor so you are only being attacked by one critter at a time. You never want to be surrounded. If your are constantly running headfirst into groups of beasties this could be the very reason you're hitting a wall trying to progress.

Of all the strategies you can implement, this one will increase your chance of survival tenfold.

And never move towards an enemy in your LOS, let them come to you. As stated earlier, this is the time where you can throw whatever you got at them, or take the opportunity to fall back to an enclosed area if you are out in the open.
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Tomb Titivator

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Post Thursday, 14th June 2018, 20:01

Re: Getting past the middle game

themadtoker wrote:And not just yaks, whenever possible always, always, always try to lure whatever you are fighting into a corridor so you are only being attacked by one critter at a time. You never want to be surrounded. If your are constantly running headfirst into groups of beasties this could be the very reason you're hitting a wall trying to progress.

It's almost always true!

But Crawl has a way of getting you set with one strategy for parts of the game, and then at least every so often, tossing something that completely busts the mold at you.

The exception I can think of immediately to this rule is slime creatures. Unless you have a strong disabling attack (e.g. Wand of Paralysis with high Evocations training), you don't want to fight them in the narrows. Letting them approach along a narrow corridor will usually mean they pile together into a much bigger, harder-hitting slime creature which is often very dangerous.

Other than odd cases like that, it's generally a very good rule though.

It's such a good rule that if you find a Wand of Digging with many charges, you may sometimes even wish to create a narrow tunnel for yourself to back into (if you're feeling strong enough to fight there a while, or maybe you have a way to teleport out of the fight after getting a few kills in). It can eventually be handy to save some Digging charges for the game-finishing orb ascent if you can manage it as well -- but you only need to factor that in if you're getting able to get to Zot.
Some wins!
0.20/Trunk + Yiuf: ImpGl^Oka (3), BKWn^Oka (3), ImpWn^Veh (3)
0.19 DECj^Veh (4), another (3)
0.17 GhMo^Makh (15), OgHu^Oka (5), DDFi^Makh (4), DDEE^Makh (4), HOGl^Qaz (3)
0.16 TrMo (6), OgBe (5), DDFi x2 (3-4)

Dis Charger

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Joined: Sunday, 18th December 2011, 13:31

Post Friday, 15th June 2018, 08:22

Re: Getting past the middle game

Slimes aren't the most appropriate example as it still very convenient to fight them in a corridor 1vs1 using a corner.

I'd say as example you may not lure an early on hasted orc wizard or a pack of killer bees without using consumables because they could easily kill you before you get there, depending the layout of the Dungeon where they spot you.

Later, a Deep Troll pack if the EE spot you.
screw it I hate this character I'm gonna go melee Gastronok

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