Project: Community Skills Guide

Discussion in 'Dungeons of Dredmor General' started by Lorrelian, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. Lorrelian

    Lorrelian Member

    EDIT: PDF now attached to this post for the Core Game skills, less Daggers and Polearms, is now attached to this post. New PDFs will be created for each expansion, so if you don't have one you don't need to waste time wading past all the skills from that expansion!

    But really, there's no reason not to have them. It's all of $6 for hundreds of hours of added death enjoyment!

    New PDFs will be added as expansion skills are covered, starting with RotDG in the next couple of weeks.

    EDIT AGAIN: Darkmere asked for a better explanation of my skill breakdowns. To be hones, I thought I had put a quick summary in before we started, but apparently I only thought about doing that. Since the bulk of what was in this post is now irrelevant to the thread, I've just edited the original post out and put it in here. Thanks for pointing out the oversight, Darkmere!

    A fair number of new people on the boards have been looking for a place where they can find a summary of the community's insights into the various skills in DoD. This is that guide.

    While everyone has their own style for looking at skills, I plan to keep my own comments to the following format:

    The Skill Name - First I tell you what the skill is called!
    Type - Is it Warrior, Wizard or Rogue?
    Role - I see every Dredmor skill as having at least one of four roles (most can fill more than one role). These roles are:
    Engine - Engine skills are the heart and soul of your run. They get you around obstacles, usually by killing monsters but sometimes by helping you deal with locks or traps. Without an engine your character is going to have a hard time getting anywhere.
    Turbocharger - Turbochargers are skills that make your engine skill(s) better and more powerful.
    Fuel Tank - Fuel Tanks keep your engine chugging by keeping you full on HP, MP, useful items, ect.
    Payload - Payloads are weird. Some abilities are really only needed once enemy defenses get high, HP takes off and monsters spawn five to ten to a room. You can take the time to develop your engines and turbochargers before you need them, but you will need them. These abilities are Payloads, and sometimes you'll find yourself taking a skill tree just so you can have them.
    Theme - Theme is an explanation of what I'm thinking of when I play the skill. It's usually pretty meaningless, but I like adding them. =/
    Strategy - A skill's role is not the same as its strategy. Every skill wants to accomplish its role in a different way, or else why would there be multiple skills? Strategy is how the skill is going to go about fulfilling its role.
    Pros&Cons - Taking a skill comes with certain advantages, but it often carries some disadvantages as well. These two sections look at what you get from a given skill, and what you might give up by taking that skill, particularly in the place of similar skills.
    Synergies - Skills don't all work together the same. Some are markedly more powerful with each other. Some are markedly less powerful with each other. This section looks at both, when applicable.
    Takeaway - When you leave this thread and instantly forget 90% of what you read, this is what you should really keep in mind. Sorta. Maybe. Or not.

    Attached Files:

  2. Marak

    Marak Member

    Sounds like a great idea. I wouldn't be of any use making .pdf files and using a dropbox and whatnot, but I'd love to make some bullet-point pros/cons type posts on all the various skills (although I will admit that I haven't used every skill in RotDGs yet, and some like Artful Dodger and Perception I've hardly ever touched).
  3. Daynab

    Daynab Community Moderator Staff Member

    I support this idea. When there's a sufficient number of skills described I'll consider putting it up as a sticky for everyone, too.
  4. TheKirkUnited

    TheKirkUnited Member

    I'd be willing to add my expertise. After 200 hours of time, I've played extensively with almost every skill. Werediggling being the only real exception. Still don't know how it stacks with everything. That should be a fun discussion.
  5. FaxCelestis

    FaxCelestis Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Absoballylutely. Lez do dis.
  6. Shwqa

    Shwqa Member

    That sounds fun, hopefully I can help out.
  7. Lorrelian

    Lorrelian Member

    OK, so we've got plenty of people to pitch in. We're starting with Necronomiceconomics, any ideas for next skill choices? For newer players, are there any skills you particularly wonder about when you see them?
  8. Shwqa

    Shwqa Member

    Magic training is a good underestimated skill.
    Dual Wield vs no dual wield is interesting (in terms of people who want to read nerds talk about this game).
    Vampirism sucks but maybe someone know how to use it.
    Alchemy is nice for everyone not just magic users
    Werediggle is confusing as all get out
    Does Astrology even have a use (especially solar inscription)?
    Master of Arms vs Shield bearer
    OmniNegro likes this.
  9. Lorrelian

    Lorrelian Member

    RotDG skills are going to come after Core Game skills, but otherwise solid suggestions. Also:
    I enjoy this statement.
  10. Kaidelong

    Kaidelong Member

    It's probably important to cover blood magic as well, since it makes the necroeconomics spells practically free. Even tenebrous rift.
  11. Kazeto

    Kazeto Member

    I think they should begin with skills that are slightly under-appreciated, or more challenging to play with.
    Meaning Vampirism, Magic Training, Artful Dodger, weapon skills, etc.
    OmniNegro likes this.
  12. klaymen_sk

    klaymen_sk Member

    I could use such guides, because I've played only about 50 hours and it may help me to suck less at the game.

    I see what you did there.
  13. mining

    mining Member

    Also worth doing: Unarmed + Dual Shields vs Dual Wielding vs Sword and Board?
  14. Shwqa

    Shwqa Member

    Also Staves vs Mace vs Axe vs Swords. Which is better for what playing styles and builds.
    mining likes this.
  15. Lorrelian

    Lorrelian Member

    It's Friday! Let's do this, Gentlefolk. The topic is Necronomiceconomics. I, for one, plan to use cut and paste a lot today.

    Type: Wizard
    Role: Engine or Payload
    Necronomiceconomics can serve as the driving force of your run, carrying you from floor to floor, or it can serve as a late game nuke, with skills invested during the mid game once engine skills are maxed out, and used to clear sticky situations like zoos when needed.
    Theme: Debuff Management
    Necronomiceconomics spells all feature a few things: 1) Lots of effect for little mana. 2) A DoT effect called Necropain, which is inflicted on the caster. 3) Various additional debuffs on specific spells, some of which decrease (or will decrease once the game is updated) :resist_nercomatic:, making Necropain more dangerous.
    Balance Necropain and debuffs through :resist_nercomatic: and careful healing. Necronomiceconomics currently supports use as either a carefully managed range attacker that handles creeps via DoTs and targeted damage or a gish that melees with a pair of very useful buffs. Both styles are well augmented by the capstone skill, which wipes out hordes and zoos with incredible AoE damage.
    Versatility in spells offered. The skill does point damage, buffs and AoE very well and, once the Necropain is handled, is the spells don't cost much, too. Massive AoE damage in the capstone makes Zoos much less of a danger. Nightmare Curse makes named monsters much easier to handle. Spells scale to :magic_power: very quickly.
    The capstone spell, Tenobrous Rift, is very capable of killing you if you're too close, and its sooooo big being too close is easy. Particularly if you're targeting the bottom of the screen. It also takes a lot of skill points to get to the Rift, the tree's only AoE. Lots of stuff resists its damage types on lower floors.
    When combined with Viking Magic you have a pretty relentless gish when all the buffs are running. Astrology has two buffs that provide :resist_nercomatic:, one at first level. Both a brittle, though, and will require a lot of recasting on lower floors. Emomancy provides a hungry buff that provides :resist_nercomatic:, but it will require a lot of investment. Fortunately, The Cure will also remove all your nasty debuffs and give you a more manageable one, and that's the second spell you get! Diggle God of Death buff makes you pretty much invincible.
    A powerful skill, but one that isn't fun for everyone.
  16. Marak

    Marak Member

    To add on: Little Black Books are pretty easy to find, even on Floor 1, are cheap to buy in a shop, and are a great way to completely nullify the wracking pain-thingies you're inflicting on yourself. In a pinch - if you find your :magic_power: outpacing your :resist_nercomatic: - you can even dual-wield them for a short time until you can get some rings, etc. with :resist_nercomatic: on them.
  17. Wootah

    Wootah Member


    Golemancy is a very powerful caster skill set that should not be underestimated.
    It is one of the caster skills that can be easily mixed into a melee/rogue build without any other offensive spell trees and still do very well.

    Animate Blade Being
    The only skill that is underwhelming is the blade golem. Not only can it hurt you, but it does very little damage, even early game. It basically places a trap on the ground that does pretty poor damage. It needs to scale better

    Mustache Golem
    This ability is a game changer if you get it early. Most people say to pick this up at your level 2. not only is that badass mustache an amazing tank early game but it does significant damage and can pretty much clear the dungeon for you for the first 2-3 levels. This sets you up early to get good melee attacks in and level other skills you might need before you get to your other golemancy spells.

    Unliving Wall
    This ability is the core of the tree. What you say? A Wall? Thats it? Really though, it is. The mana cost can get down to 3 mana meaning that you can spam the crap out of it later, with enough savvy. Not only that, but you can pretty much choose all your engagements. Open a door and find a zoo? NO problem. Most of the monsters are 1-2 tiles from the door, meaning that you can put up walls faster than they can even reach you, especially if you have a Golem (mustache or machine) distracting them. Once you have your little wall blocking monsters, feel free to cast mad non-projectile spells over your wall and let everything melt, all while never getting hit once. The best part? Zoos have this cool feature which gives you site of the whole thing, even when obstructed by walls! Go wally Happy! And the best part is when you are in a tight situation, you can just box yourself in until your golems and thaumites calm things down.

    Invive Thaumite Swarm
    The key to Thaumites is not to get them on yourself. They sting like the dickens, but more importantly they are your main damage ability in the golem tree. Lasting 8 turns and with a decent scaling with magic power Thaumites spread themselves! Thaumites are very handy and can clear zoos by themselves. The secret to Thaumites is two fold. 1) They spread. 2) They are pretty expensive to just be spammed. If you wanna win a fight with thaumites, especially in a zoo, target the weakest enemy first, so that they die before the thaumite infection runs its course and then then can move to a new target. By emphasizing magic power, you make sure that your thaumites kill things faster and earlier, and benefitting from the ability to spread.

    Mortal Machine
    One of the tankiest, beefiest of the minions. Not only that but it does decent damage early and the 10:resist_putrefying: makes it immune to your thaumites until late game when you have a lot of magic power. Interestingly this makes levels with machines also difficult to deal with if you only have Golemancy, but then again, you can keep smacking them with walls which do small amounts of damage.

    Digging Ray
    While quite expensive the digging ray really can be game breaking, or just VERY convenient. It isn't advisable to rush to it, especially if you have no other caster abilities because you may not even have the mana to cast it. When casting it, remember to click far away from your hero to complete a line. Also, narrow tunnels are a golemancer's best friend with walls and thaumites.

    Pros: Great control
    Cons: Low damage output, especially late game.
    Tip: Ranged weapons can be shot through diagonally created Unliving Walls. :)
  18. Wootah

    Wootah Member

    After working on this I realized you guys only do one a week and picked necro already. Oh well.
  19. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    I would love to add to the Golemancy part, but that is another week.

    On the subject of how to counteract Necropain, you can equip tank armor to reduce your :magic_power:. This can usually reduce the amount of :resist_nercomatic: needed to avoid Necropain.

    It is well worth considering. :)
  20. Necronom-nom-nom exemplifies the good and bad about "ultimate power, but balanced by a drawback" design. When you don't have any necrotic resistance, Necropain can wreck you; you have to rely on other skillsets while carefully metering your Necronom usage, or you'll find yourself dead at your own hands. When you have a bit of :resist_nercomatic:, Necropain is annoying but manageable, and only deadly in rather large quantities. When you're pimped out for immunity to the skillset's drawback, you're able to dish out massive damage right and left even to creatures that have necrotic resistance; the drawback is no longer a drawback.

    What's cool:
    • Drawbacks are very flavorful things; other nuke skillsets can feel comparatively boring and straightforward, e.g. "I do tons of :dmg_conflagratory:, because... because fire."
    • You have to invest many of your items, or a skillset or two, into fully resisting Necropain. That makes abusing Necronomiconomics harder, and prevents you from using other items or skills in those slots.
    • Necronom itself has a wonderful amount of internal variety for a nuke skillset; it lets you get the job done in different ways for different scenarios. Picking on Promethean Magic again, having 4 slightly different ways to do AoE :dmg_conflagratory: damage is redundant and unexciting.
    • The complicated nature of 'nomics is very appropriate for a roguelike: gives you a chance to be screwed once, then learn from it and be super-badass next time you play.
    What's goofy:
    • When you use X to balance Y, Y is no longer balanced once players find a way to avoid or minimize X.
    • This is a "trap" skill for players who don't pay attention to tooltip details, or who don't yet know what all the little icons mean.
    Things that could've been done differently:
    • More :resist_nercomatic: sooner, so that fewer unlucky players wind up scratching their heads wondering where all their :life: went. Necropain would necessarily scale more strongly with :magic_power: in order to keep up with the additional resist. Early access to resists would be less "make-or-break" for the build, but stacking resists will still be important late-game.
    • A minor penalty to damage which scales off your :resist_nercomatic:. Doesn't affect players with low resistance values, but slightly slows down the damage output of players who fill up on resists. Necronomicists dislike profiteers who don't pay the toll!
    Essence and OmniNegro like this.