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Dungeon Crawling Tips

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

  1. 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.

  2. I believe 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.

  3. To speed up combat, keep the rearmost character in the party selected. Combat goes much quicker when individual attacks (both 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).

  4. 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 him at the back. I tend to keep my giant at the back and my spellcasters at 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.

  5. High HP is a huge factor in being able to survive, so the Optimal Leveling Route really is useful. At the very least, try to get your constitution 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.

  6. Don't bother with generalist guilds, particularly Scavenger(1), Villain, and maybe Wizard. The "special ability rates" the HelpLesson describes are deceptive: The Warriors' 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 goes for Thieves: their 9 in thieving is far better than Scavengers' 7.5.

  7. 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...)

  8. When running a party, have your characters specialize in two guilds at most (plus Nomad). It's particularly 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.)

  9. 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. user posted image But other races are very playable too, as long as you balance your party well.(2)

  10. For weapons, damage modifier tends to be more important than number of swings. (Although having at least two swings is 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.

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

  12. 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 four groups). You should learn which spells tend to kill which monster groups, and only cast a spell if there is a reasonable chance that it will kill most of the monsters you are facing.

  13. 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.

  14. Spellcasters can cast their spells even when levelling 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, in order to give them a fast way to gain XP.

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

  16. 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.

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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 (4 for Heal, 7 for Restoration).(3)

  20. 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.

  21. Once you have a healer, try to keep your party's HP near maximum at all times. But don't waste SP by healing characters fully until you're about to return to town. (Except when it would be more cost-efficient, of course.)

  22. Buffer Ethereal Portal at your peril. user posted image

  23. 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 on each square until your characters ID all the squares. Again, watch out for pits.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. Never open slime traps.(4) 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).

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

  28. 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, followed by 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.

  29. 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 to randomize 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.

  30. 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.

Discuss this in the forum.

(1) For Osiris, who can't join the Warriors' guild, Scavenger provides the only chance of gaining two extra swings, though.

(2) With the race/guild combination which costs most XP (Osiri Healer), levelling does become rather slow once you hit level 200, however.

(3) As soon as you have a well-trained healer who can cast Restoration at minimal cost, it is preferable to Heal or Minor Heal, though.

(4) Provided you've got a skilled thief, you need not be quite so dogmatic about it. And some slime traps do contain decent items.

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