After further review: Melee still sucks

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

  1. moof

    moof Member

    I made a character that I thought would be pretty cool late game:
    Staves <-- very good proc attack, uses wood material for best weapons(at level 2 you can toss your staff into the crafting box and make it into a bo staff), very good secondary buffs block/critical. Stacking two weapons means not worrying about heaving deadshot/perception.
    Swords<-- obvious counter attack awesomeness
    Dual wield
    Wand or psionics
    Master of arms
  2. Vykk Draygo

    Vykk Draygo Member

    They cannot be. It can be a problem to separate them without being swarmed, though.
  3. Derakon

    Derakon Member

    You get the benefits from a given weapon skill once for each weapon of that type you are wielding. So if you want counterattack bonuses from the swords skill, it's worth wielding two of 'em. You miss out on the staff procs, but you save a skillpoint to be used elsewhere. I have trouble believing that there's a dual wield build that has two weapon skills that wouldn't be better served by replacing one of those weapon skills with something else.
  4. moof

    moof Member

    Wow, I didn't know that. Prolly cause I never played that character. Hah.

    Does anyone know if counter attack actually first blocks the attack THEN attacks, or does it simply give you free "return" attack?

    It's so hard to tell what the hell is actually going on in melee in this game.
  5. Derakon

    Derakon Member

    Counterattacks cause you to take no damage and get a free attack, but that attack may itself be countered, and so on indefinitely.

    Basically, if you had a 100% counter chance, you'd be invincible in melee. Dual-wielding swords with maxed sword skill gives you a pretty massive counter chance; nowhere near 100% but still a quite reliable defense.
  6. jhffmn

    jhffmn Member

    I think my current character that's on lvl 8 GR/PD is going to beat the game. Pure melee.

    Check out these stats.

    Block is over 100% with duck and cover proc. Once I can get a second ring or another couple levels it will be over 100 with out it. I can melee everything outside of named enemies which do massive elemental damage.

    33 armor resist and 19 piercing resist + 100% block chance means I don't take physical damage. Only non-physical. And with 100% block + other stuff means I can stand in melee against most things. Still named mobs that do 25 non-physical damage are a no go. Gotta save some bolts for them.

    Attached Files:

  7. jhffmn

    jhffmn Member

    Ok, I'm still on floor 9 but I dove down just to test arch diggles.

    Right now they are doing 6 damage on a crit and I'm getting "This attack has no effect" when they don't. =p

    I think melee just might be viable heh. My gear isn't that great either. I crafted most of it and saved all the anvils for my serpentine armor. I have a feeling I'll be needing my colossal stack of greedy bungcaps though. I have about 60 of each shroom. Before I head to level 10 I'll get one more level and transform all my shrooms and head into 10 with 150 fairywodgers and 150 bungcaps and 60 hoglanters =p. I'm taking my time and leaving nothing to chance. Should finish up tonight.

    My block chance is 101 now and 111 with duck and cover which is 99% of the time. Damage is probably at around 30 or so. I'd really really really really like 2x overclockworked rings.

    One issue so far is if I see a named mob, I know I'll need to use bolts. Everything else is easy.

    Melee. Is. Viable. L2P.
  8. Have you ever tried Astrology+Necromoneconomics w/ Vampirism? It's pretty cake as long as you keep your magic power in check, allowing you to wear heavy armor. The first buff in Astrology gives you necrotic resistance to get you by until you find a nice ring/vampire hunter's hat. The life leach buff + melee power buff is insane when stacked with vampirism. Just be very careful when using black hole to not kill yourself. The necrotic resistance they gave you in the last 3 skill points will help significantly with that though. I used swords + a dueling shield for most of the game for a high counter chance (even more hp leech). I think I managed to get to level 7 or some such pre-patch before accidently killing myself with black hole after my magic power shot way up from a new item (pre resists on last 3 skills and like I said, magic in check). A lot of people complain about cutting magic power from armor affecting your vampirism, but it really doesn't matter that much. The mitigation is worth it and the burst leech from the buff is more than enough. Plus, like you said it's a very combat oriented build that lets you turn most of the clutterware into lutefisk so inventory management is super easy.

    Give it a shot!
  9. 123stw

    123stw Member

    If I go astro with necro I did much prefer sticking to being a pure mage. Astro buff does not hold up on melee range, but at least they don't dissipate from necropain as long as you resist all the damage. The 3 innate resist with 1 mark of chthon blocks 33 magic power worth of necropain, and is more than enough for melee necros.
  10. jhffmn

    jhffmn Member

    It's time to see if melee is viable, wish me luck.

    Yeah, that's a stack of 318 fairywodgers =p.

    Attached Files:

  11. jhffmn

    jhffmn Member

    Woot, I could stand in melee against a zoo no prob. Lord dreadmor I didn't bother with. 1 holy hand grenade + hoglantern then drill bolt + hoglanter and then repeated until dead.

    Melee = viable. However the only defensive stat you can actually get to 100%, and lets face it without 100% in a defensive stat you are going to get double crit with a counter attack at some point is block. Block reduces damage from elemental attacks too.

    So if you want to go full melee. Without something like psionics to prevent counter attacks. You'll probably have to go double shield + unarmed + with a build set up around maximizing block.

    Still even with something like 37 armor resist and 22 piercing resist, I couldn't stand toe to toe with any named mob. Because even though I used every anvil in the game on my chest piece, and (I'm guessing the odds of success are dependent on item level since I had amazing luck and had only 2 displeased) had some decent resists, those resists were all between 1-3. So a 25 damage hit AFTER block is downright scary because my armor did nothing.

    That said, I don't know if that is a design flaw. The mobs on level 10 couldn't do enough damage to over come my 0 spell power vampirism. So having to use bolts or wands or something on occasion seems fine to me.

    Melee is perfectly viable. However I would never ever ever recommend anyone EVER play that build because it is more fun to just run double staff psionics. It's much stronger, you can choose to take 0 damage in melee with nerve staple. And you'll be doing 3x the damage. Seriously, I found a 40 damage staff and almost cried that game.

    So does melee still suck? No. I found it fun to try. Or at least, you can sit there and be an unmovable object that slowly plinks away at anything. So, it is possible to maximize block and armor and piercing resist and resists to the point where unnamed mobs even on DL 10 would die of boredom before taking you down.

    I would like to see some stronger support abilities in melee. Why do melee have abilities that paralyze like 1/3 of the time and not 100% of the time? They are already on CD. Come on, shield bash? Most disappointing spell ever. The same goes for the activated ability in staves.

    Also why would you ever take maces or axes over swords with counter attack or staves with spell power + block + a decent proc or unarmed for maximizing block. Maces need an activated ability that stuns 100% for 2 turns with a CD of like 6. Axes need something, I dunno. Maces and axes are both useless.
  12. Derakon

    Derakon Member

    Maces have the ability to smith Flail of Pleiades, which is one of the best weapons in the game. They also get an active ability that provides knockback, which is immensely useful. Swords top out at katanas smithing-wise, which are comparatively terrible, but they get a ranged active ability and good counter chance, especially when dual-wielded. Axes have the clockwork chainaxe, but that's tricky to make, IIRC. I do feel like axes are the weakest weapon proficiency currently.

    I don't think you need max block to survive. Endgame warriors have 100+ hitpoints; a warrior dual-wielding weapons (thus no shield benefits) but with decent armor otherwise (full plate, jet boots, albrecht's helm, nothing special ring- or amulet-wise) will take about 30 damage from an archdiggle crit. So a counter-crit + crit is 60 damage. As long as you stay healthy you can survive even the worst combat turn possible, and the odds of that happening are already vanishingly small.

    My last melee character was a dual-wield swords character. Not as tankish as yours, but he did hit over 100 damage on criticals, while I get the impression you weren't doing anywhere near that much. That's the price you pay for unarmed; it doesn't scale so well in the endgame, damage-wise. And his counter and block chances were high enough that he could stand in melee against everything in the dungeon without having to stop and heal too often.
  13. Kablooie

    Kablooie Member

    I do have to say that in my initial experence is that it's tougher to play the melee build. I had a far more challenging time beating the game with a melee build in DM/PD that I am currently in GR/PD with an awesome mage build.
  14. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    I'm currently on level 8 with the following build:

    The experimental part of this was the triple crafting build, which so far I'm very happy with. Alchemy gave me endless supplies of Chalk (from black pearls), the highly useful Hyperborean potions for level 7, and so on. I actually have maxed out both Smithing and Tinkering, almost maxed out Alchemy, and haven't bothered levelling Burglary (so far) because of all of the invis and teleport potions I've been making, though it's definitely on my to-do list before I get to Dredmore. Thankfully, level 8 is a bit easier than level 9 was, at least so far. I'm really taking my time now so that I don't make any serious mistakes (I hope). Archeology has been a mixed bag because of all the negatives I've been getting from Krong anvils.
  15. moof

    moof Member

    I think the best GR/PD build for a melee character so far that I've cooked up is
    Master of arms

    The last is pretty optional

    wands is probably the best because it's a low investment skill and this character has a lot of skills you wanna pump up.

    Cool thing about it is the build kind of transforms as you level up and get deeper and deeper. Early on you just want to equip the most damaeg weapons you can, ignoring if they are shields/unarmed. Later on when you've filled out your character and gear.

    Focus on high block, low magic penatly armors for most of the game, like aluminum stuff. Ring of thorns, duh. etc.

    I know technically necronomics probably doesn't make it a "pure" melee build, but it does kill everything in melee.I've been meaning to try a playthrough with mathemagica and it as the 7th skill. Then focus your gear entirely the magic power and stuff except for slots that you can fit very good block items in. And have a character with super melee blood sucking ability and still very high block.
  16. jhffmn

    jhffmn Member

    @derakon about flail of Pleiades, I'm sure that's nice if you can craft it relatively early like by floor 4 or so. But it's still only 19 damage. That may be comparatively more than swords or staves but not that much more. But you wont be using crafted weapons all game. By end game my last game I was finding randart staves with 40 damage. You'll be wanting to switch to stuff you find. Unlike armor where you probably want specific pieces, a randart weapon is probably going to have high stats by lvl 7 on than a crafted item. So the damage of the items isn't going to mean much, it's pure luck.

    Give me swords, staves, unarmed depending on build. I'd rather have all that block + spell power or counter attack than 5 more damage. The difference between having an additional 16 counter attack or 14 spell power/16 block is going to mean more than an additional 10 damage imo. The reason being that doing 80 vs 70 damage isn't as important as having 50 vs 66 counter attack. In that scenario you're choosing about 14% more damage and in return taking 47% more hits. No thanks. And with staves, obviously that's the way to go for anything that wants spell power. For whatever reason, staves also provide block so you get a great defensive stat too. Not to mention that staves easily has the best passive proc.

    I don't see the additional damage from maces being worth it ever. I'd always choose swords/staves/unarmed.

    I mean, to put it into perspective. The last game I played unarmed. Unarmed gets 10 damage from skills. A dual wielding axe player gets +8 damage from skills. So unarmed is like dual wielding 2 1 damage axes in terms of damage. I still managed to get up to reasonable damage with melee power and bonuses from gear and procs and had about 50% crit towards the end. So I really don't think the extra damage from maces or axes means anything at all. It's going to get drowned out by all the bonuses you get elsewhere and the other skills provide useful stats.

    I'd really like to see a reason besides damage to take maces or axes. If melee got a strong 100% control ability they'd be fine. Make shield bash 100% stun for 3 rounds and give mace a 100% 3 turn stun proc on both the passive and activated abilities instead of the knockback which unarmed already has. Then give axes maybe an additional +8 crit and +4 slashing to the skill (so a dual axe build would get +16 slashing damage and +20 crit). I think that would stratify the skills. You'd have staves being the battle mage/block set. Swords being the counter attack set. Maces being the stun/control set. Axes being the massive damage/critical set. Unarmed being the pure defensive/knockback 100% block tank set.

    Not that melee is underpowered but I think maces and axes are. And melee is certainly far far more difficult than a caster or hybrid build. And if a hybrid build can just cast nerve staple every fight for 3 mana and still do massive melee damage. I don't see why shield bash (which needs to require a shield) or maces can't have a 100% stun effect on a CD as long as the CD is 12 in the case of bash and 13 in the case of meteor. Nerve staple is still better. Besides it'd be fun to play a 1h mace/shield user for all the stuns if that happened. Still not as strong as a 2h stave/psionics build.

    Edit: I just rolled a sword user to test out a counter attack build on GRPD. Found a sword of the anti hero on floor 2 in a shop. I can't afford it yet, but that's a 24 damage weapon I'll have. I just don't see a crafted flail being a strong selling point.

    Changes I am suggesting are:

    -knockback from shield bash, dwarven handshake, ragnor's meteor
    +100% stun for 3 turns to shield bash, dwarven shandshake, ragnor's meteor
    require shield equiped for shield bash.
    +4 slashing damage +8 critical to axe skill line to enable a massive crit build.
    Marak likes this.
  17. 123stw

    123stw Member

    Flail has knockback, which IMO is way overrated. The 16 counters off from dual sword easily makes up for the damage even if you are stuck with katana, and the difference between 44 - 60 counter is 28.6% damage reduce + Leech (with vamp), Way more than 10% knockback (20% handshake but 50% knockback). Besides, the 6.67 chance of staff stun for 2 turns is almost as good as the knockback, except with staff you get block and magic power as well.

    However, 100% stun on bash/shake/meteor is just silly. When dual staves psionic you have to equip crappy mage armors to push magic power to 44, with melee you have enough block/armor/piercing resist to tank 90% of the monsters. All mace needs is dwarven handshake to actually knockback 100% rather than 50% of the time, which will kick a lot of ass when combined with astrology trap for 33% 8 turn stun.

    As for axe, lol they just suck, they have nothing going for them at this point.
  18. jhffmn

    jhffmn Member

    While the second part is true, what difference does armor make when you have a 3 mana 100% stun on no CD? You never get attacked anyway. And bloodmagic recoups any mana it costs. You can just dual staves/psionics and melee better than a pure melee build. And you don't have to devote your entire build to tanking that 90%. And you can't really tank 90% without a form of self healing. So you're left with an entire build devoted to that 90% and another build can do the same thing much better, at less risk, with far less devoted to doing it, that can then handle the 10% pure melee can't the same way. Because while that pure melee has to rely on consumables to handle the 10%, staff+psionics can just nerve staple lock that too.

    While incredibly strong, a 100% stun on bash/shake/meteor is still weaker than psionics. But I could see a CD increase on meteor/bash if that change was implemented. Maybe CD 20 or so?
  19. 123stw

    123stw Member

    Well yes. Dual staves psionic was my first build since 1.03, and back then at least you run the risk of getting countered to death.

    As of 1.05 you really only die if you get caught in a bad position. So once you got that 44 magic power, psionic level 4, and a positioning tool (burglary), you are good to go. The only time you can ever die is floor 1. After that it's a piece of cake.

    But then again, we can't compare pure melee with a fully completed dual staves psionic, that will just be too easy (and boring). It's not really that hard to beat the game with dual sword no spells, and I think that should be the benchmark for pure melee.
  20. jhffmn

    jhffmn Member

    I think there are other melee builds that are stronger than dual sword no spells, like the 100% block build I played my last game, which also could only die by bad positioning meaning getting caught by a named mob with no way to gain distance. Nothing could hit me for more than 5 damage or so. So past lvl 5 or so it was a cakewalk. And also boring.

    But then casters aren't at any real risk either if you know what you are doing and have the tools to handle the situation. But then I guess that applies for every build.