I just wanted a catchy title, I'm not going to be whining and raging here. Okay, maybe some whining. No promises. So, I just got done beating Lord Dredmor, 1.0.5, Moderation, Permadeath, with a variation of my Vampire Fencer build: Swords - Dual wielding - Vampirism - Astrology - Berserker Rage - Blood Magic - Burglary So, I did the usual: a mix of caster gear with some Absorbtion, and as much Counter/Dodge/Block as I could get. Dual-wielding Swords, of course. Using Astrology to buff my melee stats (Syzygy) and deal AoE damage/stun (Radiant Aura). Blood Magic to feed the Syzygy and Celestial Aegis buffs and synergize with the "constant combat" playstyle that Vampirism encourages. Things went fairly well, until I got to Floor 4. There, I was constantly being destroyed by Pumpkinns, which are the new Mask enemies. Way too much Piercing damage plus the annoying Poison Cloud spell spamming, killing every one of them comes down to getting good RNG so they don't sap your HP to half before finally dying. The Thrusties hurt a bit but were manageable. The new, 20-damage Fireball from Thermoblobbies was also an unpleasant surprise. Why is there a 20-damage monster ability on Floor 4 when you have roughly 55 health? In any case, I struggled through and prevailed over Floor 4 and continued on. Floors 5 and 6 didn't give me too many troubles, but then I started to hit the Melee Wall, on Floor 7. I've been tweeting @Gaslampgames about this a bit, but you can't elaborate worth a damn in tweets. The problem I come across is that, on these lower Floors (7-10), you're being asked to somehow mitigate an unceasing barrage of 20, 25, and even 30 damage attacks, of roughly 3-5 different damage types, which then change from Floor to Floor. Take Floor 7 - 30 Crushing from Snow Baals (groan), Piercing from Monstrous Masks, Ice damage from everything else, plus whatever Squiddies do. Sure, a Torque of Kanada helps a bit, eh - but then you get to Floors 9 and 10. I guess my main gripe was Floor 10. Arch Diggles are still ludicrous. It's pure RNG to kill one. You trade Dodge and Counter strings, and sometimes you'll kill one and take 10 damage and sometimes you'll get it to half health and it's dealt over 95 damage to you. It doesn't help that, with the HP buff to Warrior levels, the damn things have about 120 health each now. In order to beat Floor 10, I was forced to backtrack to Floors 5 and 6 and COMPLETELY EMPTY 3 Bolt Vending Machines, because in order to deal the thousands of damage to the dozens of Arch Diggles on the floor, I needed literally hundreds of bolts. Fighting them in melee, without softening them up to about 25% health with Bolts, was playing Russian Roulette with every single Diggle, and as you know, if you explore the majority of Floor 10 looking for Dredmor, you're going to have to fight 50 of them, or more. So my main point, I guess, is that, with armor that focuses on Dodge and Counter and Block, I couldn't "keep up" with incoming damage. Vampirism never really healed more than 5-8 damage per attack, even at Level 22, even with 18 Magic Power, even dealing 80 damage per swing. I don't know what it scales off of now, but whatever it is, I was leeching as much life on Floor 1 as I was on Floor 10 - and my HP had quintupled since Floor 1. To compound this problem, I would REGULARLY take 40 damage in a single round, from Arch Diggles and Fell Carrots and the new Djinn and sometimes even from the Leprechauns. Now factor in that sad fact that Drinker of the Dead does not scale, in any way, at all. Getting 4 Health back from an enemy that just did 60 damage to you feels like a slap in the face. I'd suggest something like having Drinker of the Dead restore 4 Health + (1/2 the floor you're on). Would 9 Health for a Floor 10 monster be unreasonable? I don't think so, given that you're up to Level 20-ish and should have over 100 Health with a Warrior-level-heavy build. So I found myself, if I attempted to melee my way through the floor, taking 30, 50, 80 damage per monster and getting about 20 health back per monster from eating corpses and thru Vampirism. You cannot keep up. There's Piercing damage, crushing damage, poison damage, holy damage, necromantic damage, and electric damage on that floor alone. How can you hope to adequately mitigate that many damage types? Even IF RNG is in your favor and you can keep some spare resist equipment in your bag, taking 3-4 points off of 20+ damage attacks only goes so far. If I hadn't found 10 Regen Potions and 12 Rejuv Potions, I would have died 4 times over trying to find Dredmor - and I'm only playing on "medium". I have no idea how you're supposed to beat that floor with that sort of build on Going Rogue, where each of the 75 Arch Diggles you will encounter have almost as much health as Lord Dredmor himself. And even if you are not a Vampire, how do you heal through that much damage with food? 100 Health is almost 2 Omelettes, and you only get enough eggs in an entire Dungeon to make about a dozen. IF you manage to find Cheese and Sliced Bread you might have a half-dozen 40 Health sammiches - both numbers subject to the RNG of Fud machines, of course. So you're trying to top off your 100 Health pool with 15-health cheeses after the first 15-20 Arch Diggles - not going to happen, unless you find a "safe spot" and Digest or mash the spacebar until it breaks. I'm just curious if maybe I'm Just Doing It Wrong™, because I really only won because of luck. I was lucky enough to find just enough Healing Potions and Crossbow Bolts to make it to Lord Dredmor about 70% of the way through exploring the Floor. If he hadn't shown up in the room that he did (or shorty thereafter), I was going to run out of resources (read: crossbow bolts) and die to an Arch Diggle. This begs the question: why was my survival, as a dual-wield Vampire Fencer with a Doul's Possible Sword and an Artifact Sword of Moste Uber 30-plus Damageness, dependent on how many Crossbow Bolts I had left? Should I have been wearing tons of Heavy Armor and nerfing my Vamp attacks and ability to keep my Astrology Buffs up instead of trying to Dodge and Counter and Block and dabble in a single (melee buffing) spell school? Should I have been hoarding resist gear and trying to go through entire dungeon floors with 6 open inventory spaces, spending 3 seconds managing my inventory for every 1 second I spend exploring and fighting? Is it "okay" for a Melee build to have to bring 255 bolts (literally!) and a 16 or 20-damage Crossbow along to conquer the final Floor, because fighting in melee is a completely terrible idea and 2 "bad RNG" attacks in which you get dodged and/or countered can set you back your entire health pool or just outright kill you? Has anyone done a dual-wield vampire build and had better luck? One where you could fight an Arch Diggle and not worry about dying to each and every one unless you pumped it full of 10 crossbow bolts before engaging?