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.