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Guest Post: Jojo’s MfNe, Conclusion

I was originally gonna do this as 2 updates, but, since its been a month since my last one, you might as well post it in one go.

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Welcome back! Sorry for the delay in posting this, but here we are now in the Vaults. We’re still just plowing through everything so I’ll be brief here.

The Vaults are a standard part of midgame for almost every character, and are filled with basically a bunch of meaty melee monsters, meaty ranged monsters, and uniques. For most standard builds, these foes won’t pose much challenge at this point by themselves, although fun times can still be had when you encounter several dozen at once.  The Vaults have been supposedly changed since the last time I played to try to force that case more often, but we’ll see how it goes…

To start off, we find a bazaar:

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Guest Post: Grandpa’s MfNe, Part IV

Ok, back to it.  So, last time, we were surrounded. The secret to beating that situation? Well, if just go up the other white stairs, you’ll now know that 2 of the stairs on the level go into that trap; therefore, the third one does not.  The third one COULD go into some other trap, but in this case it doesn’t.    Instead, it goes right to one of the best items in the game. ;]

Now that the ambush is awake, they’ll spread out all over the dungeon looking for me, and I can easily take them on one at a time.

My HP is going up rapidly with new levels now; the bonus HP you get from the Fighting skill is proportional to your current XL, so its really starting to pay off now.

Its nice to have a lot of consumables on hand, because you feel less hesitant about using them.  Generally I try to keep a couple mights/agilities and about 4-5 healing and cure wounds potions on hand at any time, and start to get nervous if I dip below those numbers too much.

Boggarts are one of the biggest PIA enemies in the game.  They spam a spell called Shadow Creatures, which summons multiple depth-appropriate enemies.  That would be annoying by itself, but they also appear in packs of 4 or 5, and so thus the situation can get out of hand quickly.  The best way to deal with these guys is to exterminate them with extreme prejudice via a wand or other ranged beam attack.

Speaking of PIAs, here’s Louisem a unique infamous for casting banish. Because she also wears heavy armour (and usually a shield), she can often banish you 3 or 4 times in a row!  Even though I have double MR equipped, I airdrop my zombies on her and stab at a safe distance until she’s dead.

At this point I decide my equipment is good enough to fully bind myself.  This gives my skills another little boost.  I’m gonna hold off on upgrading my weapon until I finish the snake pit, however, as tons of enemies there use polemarms and so there’s a chance that I could find a really good weapon there.

Before I do Snake, however, I’m gonna do Swamp, which should be a cakewalk with rP+, clarity, and my merfolk water affinity.

I finally find a book with haste, which is GREAT.  My charms skills is already almost high enough to cast it consistently so this is an immediate huge power boost.

Frances is similar unique to Louise (heavy armour spellcaster babe), but she summons demons instead of banishing you.  Her lore (for as much as Crawl has lore at all) sez that she once defeated a Pan Lord in battle, but she’s much much weaker than that would have you believe.  I stab her to death before she can do anything at all.

A short while later I kill a swamp dragon and take its hide.  Swamp Dragon Armour is actually really good, as it provides solid GDR and base AC despite being almost as uncumbered, spell-casting wise, as leather.  I might want to wear it later if I can cover my resists in some other way.

Here’s the rune vault. A bunch of hydras and swamp dragons, whatever whatever.  I haste up and start pokin’.  So easy that I forget to even screenshot the rune. ;[

An incredible bounty…

FINALLY some action!!  Lamia is a new unique that’s kinda the “boss” of the snake pit, and I’ve never seen her before.  She’s a superpowered greater naga with OOD and shitloads more HP, which is a pretty scary combo.  I haste up and get to work…

I try my usual trick of “stab the fuck out of everything from behind a wall of zombies” but here she reaches past hits me for 60 damage in a single hit. 0_0  time to take this show on the road…

My zombies buy me some space, enough such that I feel like I can make a serious dent in her just spamming wands.  Even though we’re both hasted, remember that I have boots of running and she’s a naga!

She has so much HP that she still eventually closes ground on me, and the other corridors are filled with other, lesser naga.  I have to use my wand of digging to create some new space for me.

I finally take her out after using every last wand charge that I had.

Here’s Mara, one of the scariest Uniques.  He’ll make two copies of himself and one copy of you, and all 3 of these copies is as powerful as the real thing.  On top of that, he casts an illusion on the rest of the dungeon floor so you can’t tell if some other scary guy joins the fight. However…

He’s no match for my stabs! I take him out in just a few turns.

Here’s another top-tier unique.  He has almost 200 hp, hits like a truck in melee and ranged, has a ton of AC, and smites like an orc priest.

Piece of cake!  This isn’t as bad as it looks, as he was fighting my zombies far away from me, up at the choke. I could duck away any time I wanted.

Here’s the rune vault…

and here’s rune #2! 🙂

This seems like a good place for a break.  Here’s my spells.  Not very many fancy ones here.  I use almost all of these fairly regularly.

and my inventory:

see you next time, where we’ll check out the Vaults!

Guest Post: Puddydumpling’s MfNe, Part III

Welcome back. When we left last time, we just entered the Lair of Beasts. The lair is 8 levels full of mostly weird animals and the occasional Unique; for most characters, its pretty easy.  Just a bunch of rats and frogs. For the first couple of levels, I didn’t even think it was worth tanking screenshots.

On the third floor, however, Ash’s monster detection finally kicks in, just in time to detect this hydra. Hydras (along with Death Yak Packs and Catelopes) are the three “big Threats” in Lair.  However, this guy turns out not really to be a big deal, though, as a couple wand zaps, my zombies, and trident pokes are easily enough to take him down.

I put him to good use shortly afterwards, ordering his body to take Gastranook, who you can see is wearing the unrandart troll leather hat.

TROLL LEATHER HAT.  DO NOT WEAR THIS IT IS A DEATHTRAP. (I might wear it much later if I find a book with Haunt, but until then… NO)

OOOOohhhh, check out what Maudy is holding.  Maud is special because she can spawn with a super duper weapon.  (Donald, Margery, Frederick, and hell knights are also in this class, so make sure to always check their gear!)  The demon trident ends up being +0,+3 of flaming, but I can’t switch yet because I’m still having trouble finding curse scrolls. 😦

BEES.  Here’s a good place to use Corpse Rot!

Lair Branches: Snake and Swamp.  I was really hoping to find the Shoals, and the bottom layer will have TONS of great polearms and branded tridents.  If I had gotten the shoals, I would have started training throwing right away.

At the bottom of Lair, I finally get 5 pips of piety, just in time for the Jungle Book ending. Notice that I leave my zombies outside, so I can summon them in later in a more adventageous position.

A forgotten ability of Ash’s is Scrying, but it’s very useful. The monsters in this vault are very dangerous, I want to see if its worth bothering with this vault at all. I check out the loot and see this INCREDIBLE BOUNTY:

The trick with this vault is that when you open the door to the loot vault, all the elephant statues wake up and turn into dire elephants, an extremely dangerous melee beast.  However, I had made preparations beforehand so that I could easily deal with them by luring them one at a time into the open, and then surrounding them with my goons.  I kill them quite easily this way.

thus, we finish Lair.  Here’s my inventory:

And here’s my skills:

So, we’re looking pretty good. I cursed my cloak to get the armour enhancement, but I’m gonna hold off on making any more equipment changes until we finish Orc.

Speaking of Orc, I arrive there and start thrashing about the place.  Similar to the lair situation, there’s not much worth in me effortlessly tabbing through a bunch of orcs, wizards and priests.  On the second floor though, I find this volcano.  You’ll notice that I’m pretty low in HP; this is because I ran past Uruk (an Orc Knight Unique) and a fire drake to get to the poral before it closed, and they both scored Big hits on me as I was entering.  Oh well, nothing a little regeneration won’t cure. I switch to my ring of fire here, as every monster in the whole damn place is gonna have a flame-branded attack of some sort.

This volcano consisted of a lake of fire, and a little vault filled with orc warriors wearing flame-related junk.  In the room above is a vault filled with more junk, as well as a “Molten Statue” that turns out to be easily tabbed to death.  Just to be safe, though, I dropped all my scrolls before I went after him. 

Back in the Mines, I finally reach the bottom of Orc.  Orc:4 always has some kind of big vault, which always consists of a troop of high-level orcs guarding 4 shops.  Here, you can see two Orc High Priests, who are one of the most dangerous enemies here.  They’re like a regular priest except with 4x HP, more smiting, and more demon summoning.

I kill the two high priests pretty easily, but one of them summoned a Sun Demon near death which walloped me two rounds in a row for a TON of hp. I had forgotten I had switched out my ring of fire, and it almost cost me. Luckily, I could blink away.

The rest of the level was quite easy, however.  Here, I find my first shop:

Which is filled with A SHITLOAD OF FUCK.  Actually, some of the items here (gourmand and wizardry) might be useful later if I can actually find some non-worthless spell books.  As it is, only the ring of poison resistance is worth buying now, although first I’ll wait until I explore the others.

The next two shops were completely worthless, but the fourth is more like it:

awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww manga

Here’s an equipment update:

The boots of running are one of the best items in the game, and the cloak of Magic Resistance is an awesome find as well.  The buckler will let me train up shields so that I can eventually transition to something better.  The ring mail is great, but for now I’ll stick with my leather.

Unfortunately, I haven’t found enough curse jewelry scrolls to change up my rings.

My skills are looking good too.  As you can see, my magic skills have metastasized for the time being.  I still haven’t found a book with Haste yet, but when I do I’ll train Charms further.  If I find a Necronomicon, I’ll train Summonings and Necromancy quite a bit more in order to cast Haunt and maybe even Death’s Door.  But, for now, I’ll just continue to focus on my melee skills.

As a bonus, I go back to D:10 to finish the big water vault from earlier.  As you can see, it was totally out of my league earlier:

But, it’s no big deal now.

Finally, I go back to exploring the dungeon and meet some old friends:

Till next time!

Guest Post: Meowy Wowy’s Merfolk Necromancer, Part II

Editor’s Note: This is the second part of a series of guest posts by Grandpa. Enjoy! One note I forgot last time: while I play on Webtiles, Grandpa is using local tiles here, as you can tell from the expanded commands menu on the low right of the screen. Webtiles has some missing features compared to local, and more importantly is much laggier, so while I haven’t asked I assume that’s why he’s using local.

THE VOTES WERE CAST AND THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN! 3 Votes for Ash, 0 votes for Kiku, 0 Votes for Mak, and a write-in for Xom! It’s settled, MEowy Wowy the Merfolk Necromancer is worshipping Ashenzari!

Ash is perfect for the up and coming hybrid on the go.  He’ll help me optimize my weapon, passively increase my defense, and give my magic skills a much needed boost despite my shitty caster apts.  Because of this, I can reallocate my XP to other things, like boosting my HP via training fighting into the stratosphere. Ash’s other passives (mapping, clarity, sInv, and warning) are also great for keeping me safe, helping me pick my battles where and when I want to. The tactical advantage this gives cannot be understated!

In contrast, had I chosen another god I would build my guy differently.  With Kikublahblah, I would instead continue to focus Necromancy and Charms, turn off my Polemarms skill (as it’s adequately high enough for that style), and eventually train Summonings so that I could eventually cast Haunt and Death’s Door as my top-tier spells, using Kiku’s corpse drop to keep me going until then.  With Makhleb, on the other hand, I’d stop training magic other than Charms completely, and try to train up Invocations very high.  I’d be much more of a fighter in that case.  All three paths, however, have in common that I’d be using allies to abuse my polemarm’s reaching ability.

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Guest Post: Merfolk Necromancer by Meow Wowy

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from a fellow Crawl player who bravely volunteered to play an MfNe for me while I take a short break from blogging here. I’ll be back fairly soon, probably before his game is over, but I’ve been busy with other projects for a while now. Mr. Wowy’s posting style is a little different from mine, but bear with it and I think you’ll find it quite enjoyable. Part II should be up tomorrow.

Multiple versions ago, MfNe was considered by Those In The Know as quite a power combo. The idea was that you could quickly morph into a skald except with a.) an OK early ranged attack (pain) b.) better regeneration (vampiric draining in addition to regeneration) and c.) more possibilities in the midgame due to levels in Necromancy and Kiku gifts. Unfortunately, since then the noble Merfolk race has endured heavy nerfs, as has their patron God, Kikublahblah.  However, Thug Lessens asked me to play a MfNe so Here I am.

OK, to start with I splatted a couple D1/D2 guys, but I haven’t played crawl in a year so Sue Me.  Anyways, this is how I’m allocating my starting skills, at least until I find a spear:

The idea here is to work up my core battle spells (which are all lvl 3 and below) as quickly as I can, as well as work up enough MP and spell slots to use them.  So that’s priority 1 and 2, in order.

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