Talk:Majang's Fire Elementalist of TSO Guide

From CrawlWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

So I'm reading your guide, and almost immediately I start wondering why the strategy isn't to start with Vehumet and switch to TSO for the late game. Vehumet's passive benefits are fantastic for a spellcaster, especially in the early- and mid-game, while almost all of TSO's benefits (restoration on killing evil foes, rN+++, see invisible, holy wrath weapon brand) come into play best in the extended game. Meanwhile, TSO penalizes your stealth horribly, making it much harder to avoid fights you'd rather not begin right now, and he disables two fantastically useful schools of magic: Poison and Necromancy. I also think you understate the damage of having a perfect shot lined up and being forced to delay it or re-aim to avoid injuring a sleeping foe you're about to murder anyway. Wasting turns can make or break a fight; that's why paralysis and slow are so bad. Vehumet, meanwhile, gives you spells all over the place, makes them deadlier than they'd otherwise be, and is fairly reliable at getting you the pieces needed to take on the final areas. Considering that you request the player to rely on luck multiple times in this guide, that's a significant bonus.

The downside to picking Vehumet early? You'll have to face his wrath when you switch to TSO, which is admittedly a nasty one (5% failure rate can be a pain), but you can easily grind out his wrath farming in the Abyss or the Hells, which you'll want to do anyway to get TSO fully charged up. Also, you'll have had no training in Invocations, but your Conjurations will more than make up for a weak Cleansing Flame, and besides, there's plenty of XP to be found. You mention yourself how quickly you can get Lehudib's Crystal Spear from useless to near-guaranteed.

Other points of contention: Pure melee can clear their way to 15 runes just fine. Trog into TSO is reliable and quite satisfying, especially since it forces you to play with evocable items and the like to fill the gaps. As for Sublimation of Blood, so long as there are chunks, it'll still be phenomenally useful; drawing MP from yourself is a sign that you're playing it wrong. Likewise, Death's Door is several turns of honest-to-goodness invulnerability. I can appreciate the value of killing off multiple demons in a single turn and getting full HP and MP as a result, but at the same time you can't knock actual invulnerability. All those gargoyle HP can go up in flames quick if a handful of hellions all decide to Hellfire at once. While I admittedly prefer the TSO healy route, Death's Door is still perfectly viable.

I'm not telling you you wrote a bad guide or anything, but it definitely seems like you need to state the argument for early-game TSO a little harder. Don't forget the power of angelic servants! You knock them for getting in the way of your late game spells, but they're fantastic allies before that point when things are ugly, and a whole lot more MP efficient than praying your half-strength spells will take down a rampaging unique. --MoogleDan (talk) 17:10, 12 August 2014 (CEST)

Thanks for these points! About starting out with Vehumet: Honestly, in all my playing career I have never switched gods, except between good gods, so that is an advice I am just not ready to give, although it may be a perfectly viable option. It's just that I'm not really aware of the implications of an ex-god being mad at you, and so far I have been quite afraid of that. What you write is convincing - Vehumet almost does guarantee that you get the spells you need to win. I will work that idea in. But this would only serve as an alternative, as I think that in 90% of your games you will have either Fire Storm or Tornado ready before you need them.
So how does a melee fighter get around this Vaults 5 fix I mentioned? I can imagine a Cheibriados worshipper to get those pesky Vault wardens down with slouch, but otherwise, if you are surrounded, even evocables won't do you much good. I just don't see how anyone can win this level as a pure melee. Have you, since the insertion of Vault wardens and the opening up of the edges in Vaults 5? With this little change to the level layout, there is no teleporting to a safe corridor when the stairs are blocked. Wherever you go, you will be surrounded by high-level killers.
The important detail on sublimation of blood is that as of 0.15 you cannot do it on chunks anymore. It only works on yourself (and only if you are not a gargoyle or undead). So you confirm my hunch that it is now almost useless to most casters (if you are not a naga or demigod with lots of HP to burn for this purpose).
Having to wake up opponents only gets a problem in the very late game, when you are casting fire storm. Up to that point, your aura makes sure that everyone is wide awake whenever you see them. Fire Storm's elementals sometimes keep opponents distracted, and that is where the problem starts. But this actually never got me into any danger, as most opponents in the late game are evil, and TSO does not mind if you kill them napping in cold blood. The odd dwarf or eye or draconian, however, can cause that problem.
I'm not saying that Death's Door is bad. It is a great option that I plan to use in the current game I'm playing right now (obviously not worshiping TSO). My point is rather that as a worshiper of TSO you are not going to miss it and can invest its spell levels, and the experience you need to cast it, in other pursuits. Majang (talk) 21:51, 12 August 2014 (CEST)
I have in fact survived with a Melee Fighter in Vaults:5, even after the recent updates! First off, I save it for as late in the game as possible; I'll clear Elf:3 and reach the entrance to Zot before attempting it, possibly doing Slime as well if I don't think I'm up for the challenge. It does have potential to get very frightening, so I'm cautious about it, but it's far from impossible. Stair dancing is critical for clearing the entrance out, and the obvious issue there is that wardens will lock them down. What you say about evocables not helping you out in that situation is wrong though; smart use of wands, rods, and (my favorite) lamps of fire works wonders against them, and a hasted melee brute can snipe them from the stairs easily. While I generally try to conserve haste ( at least when I don't know the spell), I'll always use it on my first trip down, just to be safe. I also make sure to have scrolls of blinking at the ready, so that I can easily get to a safer staircase if I don't want to bring an entire army back up with me. I'll pick the welcome committee apart piece by piece, taking time to full-heal between visits. If I do bring too many opponents back up, I'll activate a teleport and then take out my pursuers one at a time as they wander V:4.
The hallways are admittedly less safe than they used to be, but they're still manageable. I'll peek my head around a corner, lure whatever I encounter back to the safety of the hallway, and dispatch it there. Honestly, I have an easier time picking the quadrants apart this way than I used to when you had to take down almost all of the vault at once. After I've cleared out all the corners and all the hallways, the cores are much less heavily defended than they used to be.
Now, if your argument is that you can't beat V:5 using only melee attacks, then yeah, you're probably right :P Any player good enough to reach V:5 at all probably invested in some kind of ranged option too though. Preferably by that point I'll also have Repel Missiles online, even for my melee brutes. One can never have too much defense.
As for godly wrath, it varies in intensity from god to god. Abandoning Yredelemnul or Xom isn't too frightening, while abandoning Lugonu (at least early on) is nearly suicidal. Vehumet occasionally blasts you with miscast effects, and makes your Conjurations spells less reliable. It's not negligible, but it's nothing too frightening. Try a game out in which you swap gods and see how it feels; it's much less terrifying than you might imagine. Usually.
I actually hadn't heard about that nerf on Sublimation of Blood. Wow. I'll have to experiment with it and see how it plays now... --MoogleDan (talk) 22:12, 12 August 2014 (CEST)
P.S. - Vehumet doesn't just give MP restoration on kills. He also increases the range of most attack spells by 1 and reduces the spell failure chance immensely, allowing you to start casting those spells earlier.
Actually, your earlier post got me at a time when I had my Vehumet Gargoyle just through Vaults (except 4) and the Depths, so I decided to risk it and let him be an apostate. Now, in the Crypt, TSO piety is indeed rising fast, but I also get Vehumet's wrath more than I'd care for. His wrath is not an added failure rate, but a conjurations miscast effect 5% of the time, which means very often for a conjurer... He is throwing fire storm at me, and hellfire, and other bad stuff. So far I survived, but probably next time I'm going to take my chances again just starting out with TSO. And of course, I made the stupid mistake of ditching Vehumet before I had memorised Tornado.
In any case, I'm glad to hear that it's possible to brave Vaults 5 as a melee grunt. I just couldn't conceive of it and have not even tried. I will soften my wording on that in the introduction.
Thanks for all your quick comments, which are extremely helpful! Majang (talk) 23:16, 12 August 2014 (CEST)