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> Dungeon-crawling tips and tricks (semi-spoilers)
post Feb 1 2005, 06:03 AM
Post #1

Fire Master

Group: Mordor MP Prog
Posts: 1,613
Joined: 19-November 04
Member No.: 71

Through playing and reading the boards, I've collected several tricks and techniques for playing the game, some of which I've seen posted elsewhere, some of which I haven't. I'm going to try to list all that I can think of here.

Some players might consider some of this information to be spoilers. Most of it's pretty general advice, dealing with various aspects of game mechanics that aren't always well documented.

To minimize loss of items to thieving monsters, always keep your thief selected (in the Party window). The game only checks against the highlighted character's thieving skill when resisting thieving attempts.

I think the same thing holds true for monsters that offer to join your party: only the highlighted character's Charisma and/or guild level is taken into account.

To speed combat, keep the rearmost character in the party selected. Combat goes much quicker when each attack (yours and your foes') are not displayed. The rearmost character will be attacked least often, and usually does the least attacking (the monsters may all be killed before it's his/her turn to attack).

Keep the slowest XP gainer at the front of the party, to keep your characters' advancement even. If one character keeps getting pinned early, keep them in the back. I tend to keep my Giant in the back and my spellcasters in the front; the giant pins very quickly and the spellcasters get to cast their spells against a full pack of monsters, getting the most out of their spell points.

Leveling in Nomad (a la Slimey's Optimal Leveling Route) is not just useful for being able to use powerful daggers at low guild levels; its greatest virtue is how rapidly Nomads gain A/D (until they max out at level 197). With a higher Defense, your party can safely delve deeper than they could if they were just leveling in other guilds (even Warrior), which allows them to gain XP much faster, and find cooler stuff. Just be sure to not level in Nomad higher than your other guilds (after level 30, anyway), so that you get 2 HP per level instead of the Nomad's 1.

High HP is a huge factor in survivability. So the Optimal Leveling Route really is useful. At the very least, try to get your Con as high as you can before level 30, so you get as many bonus HP as possible before you reach "ML", as described in the HelpLesson.

Don't bother with generalist guilds, in particular, Scavenger, Villain, and maybe Wizard. The "special ability rates" the HelpLesson describes are deceptive: The warrior's "12" in fighting (and 9 in critical hits) proves to be perhaps twice as effective as the next-best fighting guild at high levels. The same thing goes for thieves: their "9" in thieving is far better than Scavengers' 7.5.

Warriors fight far, far better than any other guild. Try to level all your characters in Warrior, or failing that, Ninja or Paladin. (Although having an Osiri thief is very tempting...)

If running a party, have your characters specialize in two guilds at most (plus Nomad). In particular, it's useful to have your primary thief and primary healer be two different characters, so that you can get both to a high level quickly. Thieving, healing, and fighting skill are all-important in the dungeon. (My party consists of a Warrior/Seeker, Warrior/Healer, and a Thief/Sorcerer. They progressed quickly and are pretty well-balanced.)

Don't worry about racial XP modifiers. The difference between the fastest levelers (Humans) and slowest (Trolls) is only 25%. Take the race you want. Dwarves are hard to beat for their versatility; Giants make devastating warriors. sneaky.gif But other races are very playable too, as long as you balance your party well.

For weapons, damage modifier tends to be more important than number of swings. (Although at least 2 swings are nice.) You don't get each additional swing unless the prior swing kills a monster, so damage modifier influences whether you actually get those swings in combat.

Spells work in a way similar to swings: If a spell targets 8 monsters in 4 groups, it will only affect (up to) 8 monsters if each successive monster in that group is killed. If the first monster survives, no more monsters in that group will be hurt.

However, each group is handled separately when calculating damage, so even if the first monster in the first group survives, the spell will still damage at least one monster in each successive group (if it affects 4 groups). But learn which spells tend to kill which monster groups, and only cast a spell if it will tend to kill most of the monsters you face.

Spellcasters can potentially gain XP faster than any other type of character. They can wipe out large groups of monsters (such as ants, slaves, or water-dwellers) with a single spell, and get all the XP for the kills. The Element spells (Leprosy in particular) are perfect against medium-size monster groups that are quite common on the middle levels of the dungeon.

Spellcasters can cast their spells even when leveling in a different guild, so it's useful to give every character a few dozen levels in a guild that can cast offensive spells, if at all possible, to give them a fast way to gain XP.

Even if you don't level everyone in spellcasting guilds, there are several items that cast good offensive spells. Best of all are sashes. They cast great spells for their level and can be wielded by any guild. They're not ultra-rare, and they're not worth anything at the store, so there's no point to saving them. Possibly keep one of each type in the bank, but use up any others you happen to find.

You'll never get quested for cursed items, so you don't have to save them. I kept one of each type I found, just 'cause they're fun to look at.

When selling items, give partially-identified stuff to your smartest/highest level character. (S)he may be able to ID it better, fetching a higher price.

The Seer doesn't know where a given monster is in the dungeon. All he actually knows is where that monster type tends to spawn, on a room-by-room basis. He is at least useful for telling you what level the monster first appears on, although sometimes a given monster will be more common lower in the dungeon, as a companion to a higher-level monster.

Less powerful healing spells (Minor Heal vs Heal, Heal vs. Restoration) tend to be more "efficient" (more points healed per SP expended) than their more powerful counterparts. The more powerful spells become more efficient once they are near their minimum costs (about 5 for Heal, 10 for Restoration).

In order to minimize aging, heal your party fully before taking the stairs back into town. Have your healer keep some SP in reserve in order to do this.

Once you have a healer, try to keep your party's hit points near maximum at all times. But don't waste SP by healing characters fully until you're about to return to town.

Buffer Ethereal Portal at your peril. sneaky.gif

When lost, hold down shift+down arrow; this will move you back and forth in the same spot until you figure out where you are. (Just make sure you're not near a pit or other hazard first.) This trick is also useful when mapping; when in a Stud or Anti-magic room, you can move back and forth in each spot until your characters ID all the squares. Again, watch out for pits.

When first mapping the dungeon, spin around in place after each step. This will help you spot teleporters, pits, chutes, and quicksand before you blunder into them.

When opening a chest, you can find out what type of trap it has by cycling through your characters several times by hitting the 'N' key. Whichever trap type your thief IDs it as most often is likely to be the true trap type. If you are playing solo, you can achieve the same effect by stepping in and out of the room with the chest several times, or even by moving another window (like the party window) in front of where the chest type is displayed.

Never open slime traps. The chances of one containing something useful are low; the chance of it destroying something you do want is high. (If you're already wearing it, you want it.) If it was left behind by a special monster and you're dying to open it, one thing you can do is have your thief remove all his/her items and give them to other party members. A slime trap will only destroy items in the inventory of the character opening the trap. Avoid rooms which tend to spawn item-destroying monsters for the same reason (once you identify such rooms).

Likewise, a fear trap will only scare away the companions of the character opening the chest. So don't bother giving your thief companions.

Until you get a decent Seeker in the party, you might want to avoid opening Teleport traps too. The easiest way to re-form your party after you trigger a teleport trap (or hit a random teleporter) is to have your Seeker (or Wizard) cast "Soul Search", then Displacement. Type in the offset coordinates provided by Soul Search in the Displacement dialogue box, 'a'dd the party member, reshuffle party order if necessary, and you're back to normal.

One advantage of making your healer and thief separate characters is that you can lengthen your time in the dungeon by having your healer open Fate traps when (s)he is low on spell points. (Save any Fate traps you come across until your SP is low.) All Fate does is randomizes your SP and HP, which means you're likely to get a few SP from it. A poor thief is likely to trigger the trap, so it's like a free Elixir of Fate. But keep a healing item or scroll of spells on hand in case it turns out badly.

If you try to cast a high-level offensive spell (level 8 or higher) against a group of peaced monsters, the game will tell you it "takes too long to throw when peaced." You can usually get around this by starting combat, then immediately casting the spell you intended to (via a buffer). If you start combat by pressing 'f'ight, the spell won't kick in until the next round. But if you cast a lower-level spell immediately followed by the higher level spell (both via buffers), the higher level spell will usually be cast before the monsters can respond. It also sometimes works to 'o'pen an (unlocked) chest immediately followed by a buffered high-level spell.

Edit Feb. 01 2005: Added section on attack spells & XP.
Edit Feb. 02 2005: Added sections on sashes & cursed items.
Edit Feb. 02 2005: Added section on casting high-level spells against peaced monsters; added section on seekers & teleport traps.

I would have started with lasers. Eight o'clock. Day one.
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Posts in this topic
- Nudibranch   Dungeon-crawling tips and tricks (semi-spoilers)   Feb 1 2005, 06:03 AM
- - A. J. Raffles   QUOTE (Nudibranch @ Feb 1 2005, 06:03 AM)Don...   Feb 1 2005, 07:50 AM
|- - Nudibranch   QUOTE (A. J. Raffles @ Feb 1 2005, 03:50 AM)T...   Feb 1 2005, 10:39 AM
|- - A. J. Raffles   QUOTE (Nudibranch @ Feb 1 2005, 10:39 AM)If y...   Feb 1 2005, 08:51 PM
- - Serin   all this information was most useful! thanks y...   Feb 1 2005, 03:33 PM
- - Zoriac   QUOTE (Nudibranch @ Feb 1 2005, 12:03 AM)High...   Feb 1 2005, 10:24 PM
|- - aardless   QUOTE (Zoriac @ Feb 1 2005, 11:24 PM)Peril? W...   Feb 2 2005, 11:03 AM
|- - Nudibranch   QUOTE (aardless @ Feb 2 2005, 07:03 AM)What d...   Feb 2 2005, 01:15 PM
- - aardless   Great post, Nudibranch! k: A few minor quibbl...   Feb 1 2005, 10:29 PM
- - Zoriac   QUOTE And don't forget that Wizard is the only...   Feb 1 2005, 10:35 PM
- - BLauritson   Word of Death, I believe.   Feb 1 2005, 10:39 PM
- - Nudibranch   QUOTE (Zoriac @ Feb 1 2005, 06:24 PM)QUOTE (N...   Feb 2 2005, 01:58 AM
- - spyfox   Ohh - nice open debate! This topic is refresh...   Feb 2 2005, 05:35 AM
- - Nudibranch   QUOTE (spyfox @ Feb 2 2005, 01:35 AM)You only...   Feb 24 2005, 08:30 AM
- - grobblewobble   Hi Nudibranch, nice post! You could make a goo...   Feb 24 2005, 10:20 AM
|- - A. J. Raffles   QUOTE (grobblewobble @ Feb 24 2005, 10:20 AM)...   Feb 24 2005, 10:38 AM
|- - Nudibranch   QUOTE (grobblewobble @ Feb 24 2005, 06:20 AM)...   Feb 24 2005, 12:23 PM
|- - fischsemmel   QUOTE (Nudibranch @ Feb 24 2005, 08:23 AM...   Jul 11 2019, 11:11 PM
- - grobblewobble   QUOTE At the end, the right spell is the differenc...   Feb 24 2005, 02:58 PM
- - BeefontheBone   Being a bit of a newbie, my only contribution to t...   Jun 7 2005, 09:30 PM
|- - aardless   QUOTE (BeefontheBone @ Jun 7 2005, 11:30 PM)B...   Jun 8 2005, 08:24 AM
- - A. J. Raffles   Heh, it never even occurred to me to cast spells w...   Jun 7 2005, 09:44 PM
- - merithiel   It is even more annoying casting those REsist spel...   Jun 7 2005, 11:03 PM
- - Nudibranch   Some people have used keyboard macro programs to s...   Jun 8 2005, 12:39 AM
- - Anthus   Isn't Ethereal Portal a non-combat spell? The...   Jun 8 2005, 01:27 PM
- - Nudibranch   If memory serves, the higher-level Bind spells wil...   Jun 8 2005, 08:09 PM
- - usc_ninja the avid mordorian   Well, I've yet to get anyone above level 40 in...   Nov 26 2005, 05:53 PM
- - Duvel   QUOTE (usc_ninja the avid mordorian @ Nov 26 ...   Nov 30 2005, 04:01 PM
- - Mongo   I would strongly suggest you add some thief to one...   Nov 30 2005, 04:06 PM
- - Katanaboy   Yes, Thief is mandatory in my opinion. It really s...   Dec 1 2005, 06:16 AM
- - Painbringer   Yeah, that's true... Thieves are really useful...   Dec 1 2005, 06:15 PM
|- - slimboy76   QUOTE (Painbringer @ Dec 2 2005, 01:15 AM)Don...   Dec 2 2005, 05:33 AM
|- - Keltosh   QUOTE (slimboy76 @ Dec 2 2005, 07:33 AM)havin...   Dec 2 2005, 06:53 AM
- - Captain   Thief/Scavenger??? Methinks Thief/Warrior would be...   Dec 2 2005, 02:14 AM
- - Nudibranch   Unless the Thief is an Osiri, in which case the be...   Dec 2 2005, 02:34 AM
- - Mongo   When forming a party, I always have AT LEAST two s...   Dec 2 2005, 01:07 PM
- - Gutsy   Since my preferred party is only two characters, I...   Dec 4 2005, 05:27 AM
- - slimboy76   Yes, using editors kinda make you little Zeus, rig...   Dec 5 2005, 09:18 AM
- - unleashed   i honestly do not understand why people are gettin...   Dec 5 2005, 09:18 AM
- - slimboy76   Well by stupidly casting eth portal in unmap area....   Dec 5 2005, 09:21 AM
- - unleashed   ive buffered that as '0'.. cant press it ...   Dec 5 2005, 10:48 AM
- - Mongo   Only time I ever got rocked was in teleporting dow...   Dec 5 2005, 01:16 PM
- - Katanaboy   I've yet to even do Teleport at all, so I...   Dec 5 2005, 03:40 PM
- - dannyboy   Is it possible to be rocked from a teleport chest?   Sep 25 2006, 09:51 PM
- - Direnar   Not in my experience   Sep 25 2006, 10:28 PM
- - Captain   Nope, not at all... unless you somehow get a bugge...   Sep 25 2006, 11:17 PM
- - Direnar   BTW, I was kinda worried about getting magically l...   Sep 25 2006, 11:24 PM
- - ironguardian   QUOTE (A. J. Raffles @ Jun 7 2005, 09:44 PM)H...   Mar 29 2007, 09:47 AM
- - BarkingDog   I read through this topic, so hopefully I havent m...   Jul 11 2007, 11:49 PM
- - Nexus   When exploring new areas of a map, if you come acr...   Mar 24 2008, 07:55 AM
- - aardless   Good points. I'd just advise some caution the ...   Mar 25 2008, 08:12 PM
- - Xaphania   Many people may find this to be a blatant and inex...   Nov 22 2008, 12:59 PM
- - garceaj   Well, I suppose I can't say that I haven't...   Feb 7 2011, 05:17 AM
|- - Werbaer   Another usefull little thing i recently stumbled o...   Apr 18 2011, 02:27 PM
- - Danjen   And adding on that, you still get the credit if a ...   Apr 19 2011, 03:12 AM

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