ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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 Post subject: Madness Archmage Win
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:18 pm 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
Posts: 535
http://te4.org/characters/121593/tome/2 ... 0d1f6bc418

So, this guy just cleared Reknor. Build is shalore wildfire archmage on madness/roguelike. This is the farthest I've gotten on madness (regular campaign, I've actually won on madness roguelike on arena mode).

Picked cauterize at level 30 -so far it hasn't procced even once. I've had some close calls though: On Halfling Ruins my archmage managed to shrugh off the stone touch effect. I somehow though that monster range for that spell is capped at 1. Well, I don't anymore lol. It may not sound too threatening but getting hit with stone touch is extremely dangerous and cauterize backup doesn't help much if you can't act. But yeah, saves <3.

Reknor:2 was also pretty bad. I encoutered a patchwork troll cursed rare. Surge + patchwork troll natural speed + blinding speed at insane talent levels means that it could close range very fast and was extremely difficult to kite. My archmage was left with only like 80 HP after the troll got something like 4-5 actions in a row. But still, cauterize didn't proc. Lessons learned there too, because blinding speed is instant cast, the monsters that have it should be treated as having it on all the time. That way you don't end up with situations like the above.

It's pretty amazing how the difficulty level changes from level to level: Reknor:2 had 0 bosses and uniques but it was overwhelmingly the most difficult level there because of a couple of rares and a not-so-great stair positioning. Reknor:3 had a combined number of maybe like 6 uniques and bosses but was a cakewalk because of the extremely advantageous starting position. The location of stairs and the speed (global and movement) of which monsters act seem to be the most important factors currently when determining the difficulty of any given level. Speed 100 % monsters basically can't hit you if don't want them to at the moment.

Draconic Will will be picked after the first trip to east. I can now get 4/5 in metaflow which is what I was hoping for before going to East. Now that I think about it, I'll probably do some Dreadfell vault-clearing too. Non-rare monsters don't really have the talents to hurt my character in dreadfell excluding nightmare horrors, dreadmasters and ruined banshees and even these monsters can be handled without too much problems if detected early, excluding those horrible nightmare things.

I'm following Mex's guide. I think the build is pretty much perfect but I disagree with some points on the build order. I've got two extra cat points from escorts. This build is now aiming for 100 % crit and is well under way for that goal. Point investment in cunning will net something like 10 % crit chance by level 50 and keen senses about 7-8 too. That alone will be way over 90 % and hopefully I'll find a new cloak with better crit multiplier and crit chance. The last points won't be too hard to get via better equip.

With cooldown reducing items, fireflash has 4 turn cooldown. When the cooldown reducing pickaxe is equipped it's three. So yeah, spells will be cast, lol.

Oh, and blood of life found in the Halfling Ruins.

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Last edited by Mankeli on Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:38 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:36 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:37 pm
Posts: 267
I found the change from Reknor in general to Vor armory a much larger slap in difficulty. I wanted Draconic Will as fast as possible so I basically went to Vor and Briagh ASAP. Reknor is like a notification that you will be slapped in the face, its not the actual slap in the face.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:33 am 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
Posts: 535
Yeah, Vor is definitely yet another big pump and Vor:1 is especially bad because it's so crowded with monsters in a small area and layoyt is horrible if something like a doomed rare happens to popup. And you can't escape to wilderness with status effects. I'm currently clearing Vor:1 and the Underwater caves. Vor:1 will take hours to clear I'd say. Kill one monster, retreat, rinse and repeat. I'm trying to keep track about all the monsters killed there so I don't get desperate :D. So far it's something like 1 reaver rare, devourer, three cryomancers, a high cryomancer, pyromancer and a necromancer. The most "entartaining" monster is a freaking armoured skeleton warrior with a controlled phase door rune of radius 12. It means it can teleport right next to your character even in the most elaborate of digged tunnel systems.

UC gave fairly free exp but now after killing the water dragon and clearing the first level of ToC too I met the first doomed rare right after going downstairs with a fairly disadvantageous starting position.

I ventured into AER too because I need a mummy bone for alchemist guests. AER:1 was maybe the most difficult level I've ever seen. Mazelike environment with blindsiding shadows for 2 K damage each is pretty rad.

Now at level 44 and with full 50 % spell cooldown reduction. Poor monsters.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:59 pm 
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Thalore

Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:20 pm
Posts: 176
Vor Armory is going to be a nightmare, remember to make clever use of Stone Wall to preserve the "in vault" status as you loot around. The desert level is actually pretty fun as it's not very hard and you have to teleport around like crazy. I suggest going back to do the extra bosses and the tower, all relatively easy. Orc Prides should be fine so long as you follow the order. High Peak I suggest not engaging with anything as you WILL trigger cauterize. Stone Wall next to the exits and then dig to move up a floor.

Good luck.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:47 pm 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
Posts: 535
Just got back from the East!

Vor armoury:2 wasn' actually that bad until I got careless with the boss. I couldn't kill it because it could use orc racial healing for 7 K every 16 turns and I was only able to kite it out-of-los because of the status effects. For example, it had a warshout with more duration than the cooldown so... Then after trying for waaaay too long I got careless but managed to survive once again. Archmages simply got such a complete toolset that even after "oh s h i t" moments there is still plenty of things you can do to save your character.

Briagh's Lair however was horrible. I had to escape it more than once to the world map which lead me to have to engage with an orc patrol of murder. Not a pleasent encounter.

But both are cleared now, Corrupted Sand Wyrm is dead and celestial light unlocked. Two marchant artifacts -the other one garbage, the other one maybe a bit better than my current cloak which is garbage. So yeah, no luck there lol.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:13 am 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
Posts: 535
...aaand level 50 reached! Backup guardians are dead with the exception of Massok who I don't want to engage right now.

Cleared Mark of The Spellblaze although a pack of killer elementals did a large part of the cleaning including killing the grand corruptor. Well, then I had to kill them of course.

Right now the hunt for more crit is priority number uno. Currently at 94 BUT Mark of The Spellblaze yielded some INCREDIBLE staves that have less crit chance than my current one.

The best staff is a ONE-hander with 39 crit multiplier and 30 heal mod...yeah. Combine that with Mercy for extra 25 more cript multiplier. But it has 20 % less crit chance than my current one so I'm not currently using it. On average it would already surpass my current staff but those non-crits can really get you into trouble and you need to crits in a row to get most out of BiL+AR+Aegis combo.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:27 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 905
Nice progress! I noticed you don't have wild(mental) though. How do you deal with confusion/silence?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:38 pm 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
Posts: 535
Thanks, I haven't found a single phys/mental wild in this game and it's been a problem on more than one occasion, yes. I got the Primal Infusion at some point but I don't really like it much.

Against silence I had the Tarelion's staff and the robe for 89 combined silence resistance. Silence was the effect that I was (kind of) most afraid of so I took extreme care around silencers despite the resistance. My character hasn't been silenced once in this game. Silence is rare though so that's why it's not the most threatening of effects overall eventhough it was the most fearsome.

Confusion has been very problematic and almost got my mage killed in Vor Armoury. Warshout is nasty. Also if the range is more than ten (and it is at this point of the game) it doesn't matter how far the monster can see (vision range), it will still hit you!. I don't know if this is because of the "hunted" effect or is this normal behaviour. I replaced my phys wild for mental wild for Dreadfell IIRC in case dreadmasters and their hexes pop up. And yes they did along with inner demons from a nightmare horror.

But it's all moot now since I got Draconic Will. I should probably get rid of that wild altogether and get another movement or heroism. In case of suprise hits (which should not happen at all regardless of status clearing tools), I still have relentless pursuit + timeless. And of course, stonewall to just wait them out.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:10 am 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
Posts: 535
This post could have been much different than it is. Actually, I was already thinking of writing yesterday. The message would have been something like "end of the line for this character". Why you ask? Well...

My archmage was happily blasting away things in Telmur. Every level I hoped for no dreadmasters and especially no dreadmaster rares/uniques/bosses who could dispel my sustains and go through my tunnels created via digging. So, my mage enters level 4. I'm using track so I instantly notice all monsters on this very small and very crowded level. What's that white dot in the wall? It must be a dreadmaster (again). Let's hope it's not a rare or especially a boss!

Good news: It's not a boss dreadmaster. Bad news: It is a boss ruin banshee (can go trough walls AND has silence). Very bad news: it is archmage/corruptor boss with fearscape and an asston of sustains which can't be dispelled on one turn.

Oh yeah, and then there is the thief/cursed boss too with the best damage output I probably have ever seen in this game. I calculated that with both weapons critting (over 80 % crit chance, crit multiplier 299 %) it would do about 2000 K damage without talents. With dual strike it would do well over over 6 K of damage. Oh, and there is more: It has momentum so attack speed is over 200 % (stamina over 1800). It is also a snake so global speed is 130%. And it has rampage at level 13 so 91 % more attack speed there.

This the kind of damage that even a madness archamage can't handle. Especilly if also silenced and stripped of all sustains courtesy of that ruin banshee. I can't corner snipe because that banshee will find my character and the rampage/thief snake would make tunnel murdering extremely risky anyways (rampage movement speed bonus over 500 %). So, really not much I can do, game over.

Except, hey, maybe I can get to the stairs somehow, they aren't blocked. The murder snake is standing right next to them but I do have a movement infusion...so, game on. Shielding, draconic will movement infusion. Zapped trough level 4 without anyone getting a turn. Enter level:5. The Shade is right next to my character but it's much less threatening than the ruin banshee. I know this is the only chance so I zap trough level 5 as well still using that one charge from the movement infusion. Phase door + dig + stone wall. The shade does find my mage quickly but it's "just" an anotrithil boss with 70 K HP, nothing this guy can't handle. The rest of the mobs are killed too, that summoner rare could have been trouble. Luckily it was taken out out-of-los.

So yeah, the saga continues! Yay!

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:55 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:37 pm
Posts: 267
Quoting someone (I don't remember who) from the DCSS forums:

"The most powerful ability in roguelikes is the ability to run away"


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:18 pm 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
Posts: 535
Very true and I also have a guess who that might have been.

Went back to East to have revenge on Gnarg which I couldn't kill previously and currently clearing the overpowered wyrms' room.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:04 pm 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
Posts: 535
My mage keeps advancing. 2/4 pride leaders are dead and those that aren't (Vor, Gorbat) look like they would be better left alone before every other thing that needs killing is killed first.

Places that need a mop up: Eruan (obvious), spider cave (spydric poison) and I'm happy to report that the tome needed for Limmir quest was also found. Now where is that Goedalath rock hiding? My amulet sucks so Goedelath rock + fire opal amulet would be a major improvement.

I've ran into some strange problems that kind of hinder my progress though:

1) Where in earth is all the good loot? I mean, great fixed artifacts have been found for sure: Molten Skin, Lost Staff of Archmage Tarelion, Void Orb, Life Drinker, Mercy...but where are all the good randart artifacts?? Seriously, I'm having a hard time even getting 100 % spell crit which I thought would be a non-issue in the endgame on Insane+. After the great robe I got from rare drowning in Last Hope I haven't found anything really good outside of Mark of The Spellblaze which netted those two amazing staves. This is getting kind of ridiculous since the kill count is already 629 rares (!) and 155 bosses (!!).

Merchant artifacts have sucked too, which was sort of expected: one was with antimagic disruption (thanks TOME bugs!), two were completely useless and a third cloak was something that I wouldn't be that exited to get from start scumming and drowning in LH.

2) My character seems to have too much mana generation to use disruption shield as a means of defence. With mana surge this guys generates over 50 of mana per turn! Add +12 on spell crit and you have way over 60 per turn. That means that even aegised disruption shield doesn't shield much at all and without aegis this guy is pretty much at full mana all the time. This is not really problem though, more like an oddity that I have never had in my many archmage wins.

3) Gorbat is tough. Surprisingly tough. His/hers pride of the orcs seems to heal for over 20 K damage every 16 turns! Add rampage + incredibly high summoning talent levels of 50+ and I'm pretty sure that I can't currently kill this guy at all. Corner sniping alone with my current item set up will not be enough. I will have to be face-to-face some of the time in battle. Rod of Spydric Poison will help keeping him/her in place when rampage/war hounds kick in. I can increase my damage output by some margin if I sacrifice some of the heal mod/shielding. Would hitting him with insidious poison weapon help BTW? Do the status effect removal of PoTO's kick in before of after healing? Not that my mage would be accurate enough to land any melee attacks lol. But there are tricks to avoid that too.

My plan currently is to finish other zones and then come back to finish the remaining pride leaders. The remaining zones seem pretty manageable: Eruan is about level 85, Valley of The Moon about 85 and spider cave about 75. Compare that to prides which are about 100.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:01 pm 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
Posts: 535
I won. Closed all portals in the final battle which I think was smart. Didn't have the use that blood of life. I was afraid of Gorbat but turns out that that orc rather attacked with shit damage in melee than used level 50+ flamespitter summons.

High Peak was skipped almost completely, didn't kill a single monster on couple of levels there.

Any questions, ask away.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:35 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:44 pm
Posts: 800
Well done, congrats!

How long did it take, in hours played?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:47 pm 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
Posts: 535
Thank you!

That's a good question, I didn't have a clue until now...

It says 5 days and 10 hours! Did this really take THAT long. Wow. But it felt like work so maybe I shouldn't be surprised. No wonder this run took forever.

741 rares killed, they were everywhere.

EDIT. The game may have been running on the background on a few occasions too so if that counts towards the time played then this is off by some margin.

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