After further review: Melee still sucks

Discussion in 'Dungeons of Dredmor General' started by Marak, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. Marak

    Marak Member

    Well, my new Vamp died on Floor 10, but that was because I sorely underestimated a large Brigade of chain-casting Djinn and didn't use enough consumables this time.

    So, I guess my gripe is not with Melee, but with a Rogue build. I tried to make a Dungeons and Dragons or World of Warcraft Rogue: medium armor, lots of dodge, 2 weapons, crit and counter. It fails horribly. If you take the same-ish build and just slap on the heaviest armor you can find, you'll do just fine. I didn't have problems with any floor until I got to Floor 9 and the damage from monsters started ramping up, and even then, I could still melee most things down and recover the majority of the damage I was taking with Vampirism attacks and Drinker of the Dead.

    Basically, I found a shop around Floor 5 that was selling the Serpentine Plate, and once I saved up and bought it, I was more or less invincible until Floor 9. Once I got to the late parts of Floor 9, I had added an Artifact-level Sir Albrecht's Helm and Rocket Boots, and the damage I was taking was far more manageable than what I was dealing with with the character/build in my original post.

    I'd say Melee is still harder than being a caster by a pretty stiff margin - that Djinn pack would have died to a barrage of Obvious Fireballs before they could have gotten a handful of spells off. By contrast, in the same exact situation, a melee character MUST have a stack of 2-3 of the most powerful bolts in the game to fire off ASAP, or they must flee, or they will die. There is no winning that fight with a Melee Archetype - you'll take 30-50 damage/round from mass spell casts - from at least 2 damage types, only ONE of which you can identify - while only hitting one target at a time. Meanwhile, a Mage Archetype can prevail easily (Promethian or Necronomicomist especially) as long as they have half their Max Mana when the door opens and they spam some AoE spells right off.

    Also, it's really damn hard to know what Resist to try and shoot for on Rings/Amulets/other Gear when the "combat log" refuses to tell you what damage you are taking from any ranged spell attack. Guessing isn't a viable option when there are, what,12 magic damage types? And you need 6+ resist to keep the damage/spell in the single digits?

    I dunno, I still mostly stand by my original post. Melee still feels like its being punished for focusing on getting close and hitting things in the face, and rewarded for getting that 20 damage crossbow and spending all your Zorkmids on as many Bolts as you can buy out of every machine you come across. Even with no ranged skills, Bolts > Melee in virtually every situation in the game past floor 6 or so, and this gap widen the further down you go and the harder the monsters hit. The same is true of casting: when you can stand 8 squares away and nuke 13 monsters down before they can even touch you, and your gear and skills restores 80% of the mana you spend doing so, and THEN you can drink the copious amounts of Booze available to top yourself back for the next room... so much better than wading in and hoping the RNG will keep you from taking too much damage.
  2. jhffmn

    jhffmn Member

    I just rolled melee and I haven't found it too hard so far. I never really played melee prior to the patch. However, one of the more enticing changes in this patch is that stunned/paralyzed enemies no longer counter attack.

    Right now I am playing the following build.

    1) Staves
    2) Dual Wield
    3) Psionics
    4) Fungal
    5) Blood Mage
    6) Burglary
    7) Assasination

    The idea being that with psionics, procs from assasination/staves, and the activated ability in staves you can keep an arch diggle paralyzed the entire fight. But I don't know how gear will fare without a crafting skill or archeology.

    But it will be a glass cannon melee build without using melee armor.
  3. Psiweapon

    Psiweapon Member

    1. Have two armors.

    2. A light one and a heavy one.

    3. Switch them.

    4. ????????

    5. PROFIT!!!
  4. My only recent character in which I can apply to this discussion was around before the patch, I was just waiting for warrior HP correction and heavy armor pierce resist to get patched in so I could reasonably take on Arch Diggles.

    I'm playing on Dwarvish Moderation, perma off (because of the old crash = char loss bug, only died once to a counter-hit Eely boss in a monster zoo). All maxed except fleshsmithing, which ended up being a meh choice.
    1) Mace
    2) Dual-Wield
    3) Berserk Rage
    4) Mastery of Arms
    5) Fleshmithing
    6) Fungal Arts
    7) Archaeology

    Now this WAS before the Archaeology nerf, but I didn't reroll my gear all that much. What I did reroll was misc rings until I got some with trap affinity. Also this was back when Greedy Blungecaps worked amazingly well for monster zoo because of haywires, but mushrooms are just amazing anyway.

    Last floor is the only one I can speak for, since that's where my save was. I had full plate and dual Flail of Pleiades and a Clockwork bolt thrower, I had hundreds of generic bolts I could spam because of tinker goggles giving +1 tinker skill (thus ingots -> bolts worked very well), tons of food, and a smattering of 1-3 on a number of resistances. My flails had been all cursed a bit since I didn't keep spares to use versus those monsters after softening with bolts. I felt like I handled the floor well, despite having no healing pots or other instant healing. Inky Hoglantern = Panic button safe escape, for anything. I had ot retreat from Dredmor 5 times to heal with them, but I eventually killed him and I never felt too badly threatened.

    I feel like I could do it again, although hearing about pryo blobby 20dng fireballs makes me cringe. Arch diggle 20 pierce by itself was ridiculous and that's on the last floor. I'd just have to carry some alt gear as appropriate and probably Inky Hoglantern more to retreat so I can wear the enemies down. I ended with 20 of them and definitely could have farmed for more. I can't imagine playing a warrior build without Fungal Arts, its just so good.
  5. Vykk Draygo

    Vykk Draygo Member

    I'm on level 5 (Dwarven, permadeath) with a warrior build right now. Pumpkinn are really easy, if you have heavy armors.

    Runed Iron Hjalmr
    Serpentine Plate Mail
    Iron Boots
    2x Iron Ring of Thorns

    With that, maxed Dual Wield, and 1 point in Master of Arms, I have 10 piercing resist, 56 block chance, and 15 absorption. I've also got 49 counter. I don't usually take much damage. I'm dreading floor 7, but we'll see. Maybe I'll get there some time today.
  6. Marak

    Marak Member

    With heavy armor I was killing things easily until Floor 9. Those last 2 floors, even with 25-ish Absorb and 60-ish Block are pretty brutal. Don't forget to save some squid bolts/acid flasks for caster packs, lest you meet my fate.
  7. kuhchung

    kuhchung Member

    My dual axe wielder is doing very very well so far. On level 8 GR PD. I've never had so much success before without vampirism. The piercing resistance is godlike.

    I've saved up a bunch of omelets, sandwiches, and grilled cheeses. Hopefully it'll be enough to carry me through the end of the game. I still haven't popped my Syzygy potion either.
  8. I just finished Dwarven Permadeath with:
    -Maces (all but the last skill)
    -Shields (maxed)
    -Master of Arms (maxed)
    -Psionics (up to Nerve Staple)
    -Smithing (maxed)
    -Burglary (only for the "free lockpicks" starter skill)
    -Berserker Rage (maxed)

    I pushed Smithing up pretty much straight away, and had some excellent gear up and running by about the third floor. After that, pretty much the only things that gave me trouble were Fire Eelys, Djinn Fizz (or whatever they're called), and the Floor 10 zoo. I made heavy use of Nerve Staple on tough/annoying monsters (the above, plus bosses, anything with corruption, and Lord Dredmor) and on Floor 10 I was going through booze so quickly for that and Crystal Healing that it was lucky I'd hoarded so much up til then. I don't know how a "pure warrior" build would do, without a healing spell or that zero-cooldown stun (especially on Going Rogue), but I'm sure I'll find out at some point :)

    Things that would have helped:
    -Not getting my stack of a dozen omelettes stolen
    -Dredmor not being stuck behind a wall, causing me to have to use up items clearing the whole floor
    -Not getting a -1 trap sight enchantment (causing traps to be completely invisible) on my first Flail of Pleiades
    -Not accidentally putting my +4 Trap Affinity helmet in the Lutefisk Cube
  9. Vykk Draygo

    Vykk Draygo Member

    You nuked a +4 trap affinity helmet? Ouch.
  10. kuhchung

    kuhchung Member

    On dlvl 9 now. Marak's warning scares me. I don't think I have 60 block :( Am I going to get destroyed on floor 10?

    Getting nuked by fireballs on floor 9 is annoying, but I'm managing so far.
  11. kuhchung

    kuhchung Member

    Yay, just beat GR PD

    Dual Wield
    Master of Arms

    I managed to go toe to toe with Arch Diggles. They did about 13 damage without crits, 25 with, often I would get a block for 5 damage, or just counter outright. It still wasn't a good idea to melee them, but I could take two or three swings if I needed to.

    Dredmor was face to face with me right after I opened a door. He hit me with the ice whirlwind thingy. I immediately went invis, chugged a hyperborean potion (from 36 damage to 18 damage I think), and quaffed healing pots until it stopped raping me. From there, I just kept staying invis as I laid all the traps I had collected. Then, used both of my tentacular wands (got 3 casts off), then BoMD. I still had 11 squid bolts left over too.
  12. Derakon

    Derakon Member

    For what it's worth, one potion of purity (or zodaical wand) works better than many potions of health. :)

    Alchemy's pretty awesome for healing potions; all you need is rust and booze, which are both plentiful. One iron ingot -> 4x rust; 4x apples -> 4x aqua vitae (or 2x pinot noir -> 4x aqua vitae); 4x rust + 4x aqua vitae -> 8x healing potion. And each potion heals 20HP instantly.

    If nothing else, you're turning an apple and half an iron ingot into 20HP, which is a good trade.

    Mana potions are comparatively much harder to make, since they require powdered aluminum.
  13. kuhchung

    kuhchung Member

    I didn't know of potions of purity wipe out Syzygy, and I wasn't going to try it
  14. Marak

    Marak Member

    The funny part is that you're proving my points, especially "it still wasn't a good idea to melee them (the Arch Diggles)" and your description of fighting Dredmor: vanishing and then using AoE Bolts.

    Once again, it all goes back to solving every problem in the game with AoE Bolts/Flasks/Spells.
  15. kuhchung

    kuhchung Member

    I melee'd everything with no problem from dlvl 1-9. Sorry it only worked for 90% of the game, and I spent that 90% saving up for the last 10%.
  16. Vykk Draygo

    Vykk Draygo Member

    Actually, archdiggles are easy for my melee build. Except for their insane health, they don't pose a problem. It's all of the missle launching mobs that are killing me. Well, almost killing me. I haven't died yet. Maybe I should go back and actually finish floor 9... but I was getting impatient. :rolleyes:

    How much health do the archdiggles have, anyway? I swear, I crit for 100, and they only go down by a third. I wish I could take hits like that! ;)

    I haven't used a single bolt the entire game, nor do I have an escape skill, or any escape items. Granted, this is on Dwarven.
  17. tcjsavannah

    tcjsavannah Member

    I do think you need at least one way of healing yourself in your melee build - whether it's Alchemy for potions, Psionics for crystals or vampirism. I'm just not sold on vampirism because it forces you to go out of your way to make it better, taking away from the stats and skills you need to make melee better. Robbing Paul to pay Peter or however that cliche' goes. Rather spend a couple levels of psi, get a couple of useful catch-all spells and go all "physician, heal thyself" when needed.
  18. Derakon

    Derakon Member

    Psionics crystal healing is probably the best way to stay healed so long as you never need healing in the middle of a fight. For 14MP (assuming no magic power) and nine turns you get 36HP, which is a very good return and requires no special inventory items. My melee character right now hasn't had any trouble -- if his health gets too low, he Ninja Vanishes, walks away, chucks some crystals on the floor and is back in action.

    After psionics I'd lean towards alchemy, simply because rust and aqua vitae are so plentiful, and the healing is instant. Healing potions aren't so trivially unlimited as MP is, but there's more than enough available.

    A distant third would be wand lore for coral wands. Every 80 turns you get to trigger regeneration, which gives you 23HP over the course of 10 turns.
  19. kuhchung

    kuhchung Member

    I was definitely not short of health potions when I played my melee build (that included alchemy).
  20. Vykk Draygo

    Vykk Draygo Member

    I'm not going to say that you shouldn't include healing, or escapes in your melee build, but they really aren't necessary. They are very useful, and very nice, though. I just prefer to skip magic all together, since it's useless with heavy armor anyhow. I'm on floor 10, and I still have plenty of food, Wodgers, heal pots, and replenish pots. Again, this is on Dwarven.

    Basically, a well built tank probably won't need as much healing, as you won't take as much damage (on Dwarven). I plan on going up to Going Rogue after I beat Dredmor on Dwarven.