ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:42 pm 
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Higher

Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:23 pm
Posts: 78
Saying that Nightmare difficulty-based guides are useless is indeed elitist as heck. I'm also of the opinion that one should at least win on some difficulty with the build before attempting to write a guide, but seriously, maybe under 1% of players play on Insane and above, Nightmare guides are much more relevant for the game the majority is playing than guides for insane+ tryhards guys.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:05 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:53 pm
Posts: 108
Istrebitel wrote:
Can someone explain why, if Lichform is bad, so many Insane winners use it? Why would they actually harm themselves that much? Also, how do you go pure caster necro non-lich? If I'm not mistaken, some of Insane winners went (almost) pure caster.


I haven't won Insane yet, though I got pretty far (prides).

The reason I went Lich was to get access to Star Fury. Invoke Darkness just doesn't cut it as far as primary damage goes and minions are much too unreliable to work with in insane; alternating between Invoke and Moonlight Ray helps out big time. Given that the insane winners (only three in the last year) all maxed ray, they seemed to be thinking along the same lines.
Earlier posts suggested going Ice instead, and to be honest, I never really considered it. I hugely dislike the Ice tree.

HousePet wrote:
Challenge time: Someone make a guide for a Lichform necromancer.
We've all seen the guides for the optimal classes/builds. There is a huge untapped market of weaker classes/build choices waiting to be exploited. Think of the moneys!


I'm going to give Lichnecro another shot pretty soon, and if he does make it, I may do so if anyone is still interested. Necro seems to be often complained about in chat.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:13 am 
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Higher

Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:14 pm
Posts: 50
Dopaminka wrote:
Saying that Nightmare difficulty-based guides are useless is indeed elitist as heck. I'm also of the opinion that one should at least win on some difficulty with the build before attempting to write a guide, but seriously, maybe under 1% of players play on Insane and above, Nightmare guides are much more relevant for the game the majority is playing than guides for insane+ tryhards guys.


Not to mention, Nightmare/Insane is NOT the way the game is meant to be played. Neither is Roguelike permadeath mode. The intended mode is Normal/Adventure and that's what the game is balanced about. That's where all classes are supposed to work all right, and they do. That's where you can actually complete the game with every class, and have a reasonable freedom of how you want to build it. When you try to crank up difficulty by inflating enemy damage, debuff, defense and health values, classes stop working the way they're supposed to and you have to start using exploits - max the use of most overpowered talents or combos, do some unorthodox stuff etc.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:04 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 1:58 am
Posts: 742
Good builds are universal across difficulties, excluding Madness, for the most part. Very few things are significantly better or worse on Insane. Just because a build can work on Nightmare (and this won didn't actually win), doesn't mean it's a good build on any difficulty. When I beat Nightmare with a staff and robe Stone Warden and wrote up a guide on it, I put a disclaimer at the top saying that it probably isn't the best way to play the class because of its serious survivability issues.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:22 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:21 pm
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Location: From Russia with atchoum!
It is maybe great guide and all, but I never know it, because I'm not going to watch 2 hours, sorry, text is much faster.

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 3:19 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:32 am
Posts: 200
bpat wrote:
Good builds are universal across difficulties, excluding Madness, for the most part. Very few things are significantly better or worse on Insane. Just because a build can work on Nightmare (and this won didn't actually win), doesn't mean it's a good build on any difficulty. When I beat Nightmare with a staff and robe Stone Warden and wrote up a guide on it, I put a disclaimer at the top saying that it probably isn't the best way to play the class because of its serious survivability issues.


I have to disagree here. The emphasis on what I regard as "stunt" difficulty levels leads to user guides that feature a very restricted set of races, abilities and approaches. Most of the class / race variants are perfectly viable at normal, for instance, and yet all of the high difficulty guides demand a handful of races. They are very similar (group-think) in demanding certain infusion and layering defensive abilities that you just don't need on normal. What's even worse is seeing the game increasingly balanced and designed around these levels, so that perfectly enjoyable game options get nerfed out. A lot of the classes have changed, most people don't play at the punishing levels, and it'd be genuinely nice to see some modern class guides useful for normal players. A good guide to me explains the important class abilities, how they mesh together, and presents multiple viable approaches to wins. If you can't use most of the options at high difficulty, that's an argument against playing those tiers.

I get that others really like the high difficulty levels. I prefer to use autoexplore, by contrast, so I don't have to plod through tedious mazes that were not designed for manual exploration. I have plenty of winners under my belt, so the lack of interest in the higher difficulty levels is not for lack of experience or skill. They're not fun for me.


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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 10:48 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 1:58 am
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There is a myth going around that Insane requires you to play nearly perfectly, never autoexplore, abuse Track, zigzag tunnel, etc. That hasn't been the case for like three years. Another myth is that things that are only good on Insane get nerfed so much that they become useless on lower difficulties. Most things that get nerfed are also really good on Normal like Salves and Providence (lots of people complained about Sun Paladin being faceroll strong on Normal). Of course there are some completely random nerfs that somehow make it into patches but those also effect all difficulties similarly. A third myth is that things that are good on Insane, like Inscription setups, are not as good on Normal, but they are equally good on all difficulties below Madness. You can't possibly believe that the classic Movement, Movement, Regeneration/Shielding, Wild, Heroism is anything less than fantastic on Normal.

If you still have doubts that Insane isn't all that different, you can watch a commentated recording of me clearing Dreadfell 9 as a Cursed, which is a relatively underpowered class. Autoexploring, no digging, no Track, and several unspent talent points.

I swear when Vitality gets changed to not scale with max life or gets a hard cap someone will inevitably complain about it ruining the talent on Normal despite it being essentially the same on everything except Madness bosses.

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 12:36 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:32 am
Posts: 200
I really do respect that people like to play games in different ways, and that the vets here really are focused on high difficulty builds. The dismissal of any guides for any normal-ish difficulty,
however, really does highlight a problem with this approach.

The obsession with "best builds" just ends up restricting the diversity of things that people do in the game. Undead builds are a lot of fun, for example - but, horror of horrors, they can't use infusions! So we end up with no guides describing a perfectly viable and fun normal game approach. And, if some talents are objectively "too strong"....explore builds that don't use them, at lower difficulty levels. There is more than one way to add challenge. What's really striking about reading guides at high difficulty levels is how monotonous and narrow the options are. Same inscriptions. Same races. Same talents, in many cases, even for different classes. Cookie-cutter. It's perfectly OK to note that some options in the game are generically stronger than others. It's quite different to write guides that omit large fractions of the class talents in a misguided optimization exercise.

I'll also flat out say that this game *needs* classes with a variety of difficulties. There should be simple classes for beginners - not every class should be the complexity of a Mindslayer or Temporal Warden. And, of course, complex classes for advanced players. There should be some classes that are easier to win with - most players don't win this game at any difficulty level! "Balancing" classes is therefore not the same as a MMO to me. (It is true that you don't want a single ability that is so much better than anything else that you just need to repeatedly mash a single button, especially if this is true at normal. I want interesting options, not one true path.)

And, if a feature is "too powerful" if used in some complex and unanticipated way, you shouldn't change the game in ways that harm the large majority of the player base that don't do those things.


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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 8:31 pm 
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Magical Girl

Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:36 am
Posts: 393
ohioastro wrote:
I really do respect that people like to play games in different ways, and that the vets here really are focused on high difficulty builds. The dismissal of any guides for any normal-ish difficulty,
however, really does highlight a problem with this approach.

The obsession with "best builds" just ends up restricting the diversity of things that people do in the game. Undead builds are a lot of fun, for example - but, horror of horrors, they can't use infusions! So we end up with no guides describing a perfectly viable and fun normal game approach. And, if some talents are objectively "too strong"....explore builds that don't use them, at lower difficulty levels. There is more than one way to add challenge. What's really striking about reading guides at high difficulty levels is how monotonous and narrow the options are. Same inscriptions. Same races. Same talents, in many cases, even for different classes. Cookie-cutter. It's perfectly OK to note that some options in the game are generically stronger than others. It's quite different to write guides that omit large fractions of the class talents in a misguided optimization exercise.

I'll also flat out say that this game *needs* classes with a variety of difficulties. There should be simple classes for beginners - not every class should be the complexity of a Mindslayer or Temporal Warden. And, of course, complex classes for advanced players. There should be some classes that are easier to win with - most players don't win this game at any difficulty level! "Balancing" classes is therefore not the same as a MMO to me. (It is true that you don't want a single ability that is so much better than anything else that you just need to repeatedly mash a single button, especially if this is true at normal. I want interesting options, not one true path.)

And, if a feature is "too powerful" if used in some complex and unanticipated way, you shouldn't change the game in ways that harm the large majority of the player base that don't do those things.

I'm a bit tired of repeating these things, but the reason normal guides are dismissed is because they're usually written by inexperienced players with one or a few wins in it, and anything that wins a higher difficulty can win a lower difficulty. Normal has been proved time and again to be not a test of how good your build is (you can probably beat it without talents, antimagic archmage can beat nightmare for example) but of your understanding of mechanics and decision-making as a player.

There's simply no need for any kind of build to beat normal, a build for normal can literally boil down to "do whatever you want". Beating normal or not is entirely reliant on you, as a player, understanding basic concepts and gameplay such as important stats, cleansing, debuffs, risks, positioning, etc, as long as you're semi-competent in these things, you'll be able to win normal regardless of your build, at some point you might even start realizing things just from playtime alone. So... a guide made around normal has no relevance whatsoever in how to play a class or not to play it, high level guides do just that, they tell you what to do and not to do and point out the strengths of the class, there's definitely a lot of optional things and builds beyond being purely efficient, race is entirely up to you and the better you play the more freedom you can have with your builds.
You can easily take a high level guide and play it in a lower difficulty, and modify talents as much as you want, and it'll probably work if you know what you're doing.
I'm a player that plays Yeek on Insane exclusively (of course I have quite a few lower difficulty wins) and believe people should do what they find more fun, I pretty much never care about making my runs optimal, and what optimal is will vary from person to person, but what I care about is giving good advice, something low level guides do not. Bad advice breeds misinformation and misinformation helps noone win in the long run, so it's something I try to dispel. I know bpat is the same in this case, and a lot of people who play higher difficulties usually are as well.

Think of it as a tutorial, tutorials shouldn't "kind of/maybe" work, or "sometimes" work, they should definitely work and give good advice. A beginner artist should most definitely not write a tutorial in hopes for it to be useful, they can and usually do it anyways, but it probably won't be very helpful or insightful, or it will be shoddy at best. In which case it's totally okay if a more experienced artist gives them tips and corrects their mistakes, that's more or less what we do, it's up to you to take the tips or not, but we do it out of goodwill and experience.

These kind of rants are getting off-topic and really add nothing to the discussion, you're not the first or last person to put these points forward, it'd be nice if they stopped. I think it all stems from a misunderstanding and thinking people are being "elitist", while a few may indeed be, most of these people are either banned or not active anymore, and on the other end we have people who simply don't like accepting the fact that someone might be better or more experienced than them at a game, it's all nonsense. So my advice is to try to think of it all as good advice most of the time and feel free to use guides to figure things out and branch out as much as you want in lower difficulties, following it more closely if you're playing in the intended difficulty or having a hard time.

At the end of the day, keep in mind that following a guide doesn't always mean you'll win or do well, and not all classes are for everyone.

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"As dying is one of the leading causes of death, you should avoid dying." -rekenner

"I'll bond with a cactus until my buttcheeks touch the sand before I play nethack again" -Gagarin


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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 10:02 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:32 am
Posts: 200
I appreciate guides focused on explaining how classes work. Saying that you can do whatever you want on normal is a ridiculous statement: to start with, you can look at the copious data on how few players win the game. I've won the game with most classes (actually quite a few more than are listed; for a long time the vault was glitching many of my characters out.) But cracking how some of them work is not trivial.

More to the point, a real service that class guides provide is teaching less experienced players how the classes are built and work. They are the vast majority of the player base, they pay the rent, and they genuinely appreciate them. By contrast, I'd say that there is actually little value in guides for high difficulty levels. Only a handful of players can use them, they tend to be very experienced anyhow, and they end up simply repeating the same handful of assumed ingredients. I'm not ranting, by the way, just giving people like you feedback in the other direction - that I've noticed that the guides in the forums for higher difficulties focus on very narrow play styles, and that talking about how you can have, you know, fun with a lot of the classes by playing them in different ways is probably more important than the relentless pursuit of Insane+ wins.


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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 10:49 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 1:58 am
Posts: 742
I wrote a bunch of guides that I'd like to think are pretty accessible for players of all skill levels. You can find them here, I wrote the Inscriptions, Archer, Corruptor, Doomed, TW, PM, Sawbutcher, Gunslinger, and Psyshot guides. If you think any of them is too difficult to understand for newer players, please let me know. Otherwise I maintain that the best guides will always come from more experienced players.

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 10:52 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:46 pm
Posts: 110
Writing a guide and telling a story of how you enjoy the game using this and this talent is not the same thing.

I like block because i like the idea of being a tank and blocking hits with my shield but block is a bad idea a LOT of the time in the game so I won't say in a bulwark guide to block every turn you can. In fact I might say to never block with bulwark.
I like the idea of a skeleton in a bikini because this is silly no matter what but I DID seriously impaired my char by using bikini only and skeleton are not among the best races because infusions ARE better than runes so I won't tell people to play every class with a bikini skeleton.

Quote:
Saying that you can do whatever you want on normal is a ridiculous statement: to start with, you can look at the copious data on how few players win the game.

You can't do whatever you want, but by playing smart you CAN win the game without any talent and only bumping. Playing smart (learning when to retreat, how to engage, to use a heal infusion before a wild when you're both stunned and poisoned...) will help you in all difficulty and are more important most of the time than picking the right talent. People have a hard time winning the game because they play too fast and/or use their tools wrong (I die all the time because I play too fast myself) but talents are not the only tools! You have items with abilities, inscriptions are plentiful, you can keep items in inventory to switch when needed... So yes, if you're good enough at managing the rest, talents are unnecessary on normal, people have done it (and those people are mad btw ^^)

A guide must aim to give good advice for all situation and EXPLAIN why some talent are less good or even plain bad that way if someone want to use them because they find them fun thematically or whatever reason then good for them, but they know they could use something else that would work better. And let's be honest if I'm reading a guide it's pretty much because I wanna improve or discover the class. If I want to improve, yes I want the best guide, maybe I'll tweak it after but tell me what's the best way to win. If I want to discover, I don't want to die all the time because I've been told to play oozemancer and never use bloated ooze because the writer has PTSD from oozing horror and can't bear to see a bloated ooze on his screen (I am ready to admit this is a far fetched case but you never know!)

My first winner used a category point just to improve mindlash (yay! 800 damage at range 9 with 0 CD, and the cost increase if i use it for consecutive turns, so OP!), used no movement infusion, took 2 prodigies i now consider bad (tricky defenses and meteor because yay! meteor), put 5 point in augmentation to gain 40 in both DEX and STR then proceeded to use 3 mindstars...
Well this guy won without any problem whatsoever for the whole game (and then died twice on atha but oh well) and I had a LOT of fun at the time. Should i make a guide for this build? No way. (well mindslayer has been revamped since so i couldn't anyway)

If you want to share a fun build it's your right and by all means do so, but don't sell it as a guide, make a post talking about what you found fun with a particular combination of talent/race/class/artifacts...

People with a better understanding of the game (people who win consistently at higher difficulties) will have better advice. It's up to everyone to follow or not after but they should at least listen and be directed to those person not someone that wrote a guide because he loves the class even if he never won with it yet.


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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 11:39 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:32 am
Posts: 200
bpat wrote:
I wrote a bunch of guides that I'd like to think are pretty accessible for players of all skill levels. You can find them here, I wrote the Inscriptions, Archer, Corruptor, Doomed, TW, PM, Sawbutcher, Gunslinger, and Psyshot guides. If you think any of them is too difficult to understand for newer players, please let me know. Otherwise I maintain that the best guides will always come from more experienced players.


I really appreciate your guides in particular. I wish that more experts take your approach and encourage them to do so. Thanks, actually, for the care that you take in them.

To bring things around a bit, I poked in the character vault. In version 1.5.x there are 29 lich winners in maj'eyal. 4 nightmare wins, 1 insane (same person at N + I).
Lich: 26
Ghoul: 1
Higher: 1
Cornac: 1

So, claiming that a guide featuring Lich is unreasonable for a Necromancer is pretty bizarre, seeing as that virtually all Necro wins are Liches...


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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 4:32 am 
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Magical Girl

Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:36 am
Posts: 393
ohioastro wrote:
bpat wrote:
I wrote a bunch of guides that I'd like to think are pretty accessible for players of all skill levels. You can find them here, I wrote the Inscriptions, Archer, Corruptor, Doomed, TW, PM, Sawbutcher, Gunslinger, and Psyshot guides. If you think any of them is too difficult to understand for newer players, please let me know. Otherwise I maintain that the best guides will always come from more experienced players.


I really appreciate your guides in particular. I wish that more experts take your approach and encourage them to do so. Thanks, actually, for the care that you take in them.

To bring things around a bit, I poked in the character vault. In version 1.5.x there are 29 lich winners in maj'eyal. 4 nightmare wins, 1 insane (same person at N + I).
Lich: 26
Ghoul: 1
Higher: 1
Cornac: 1

So, claiming that a guide featuring Lich is unreasonable for a Necromancer is pretty bizarre, seeing as that virtually all Necro wins are Liches...

It's worth pointing out that the guide was written for pre 1.4 which was before liches got buffed to be actually fairly decent!
It'd be nice if people looked at dates and didn't bump a thread to complain or add non-relevant information.

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"As dying is one of the leading causes of death, you should avoid dying." -rekenner

"I'll bond with a cactus until my buttcheeks touch the sand before I play nethack again" -Gagarin


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:20 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:21 pm
Posts: 343
Location: From Russia with atchoum!
Learn me educate me how to win DC on Insane as Necro.
I'm using Ogre - my eternal love even after nerf.
No minions, nuker, tinker.
THis time I gor Reflection Rune, Kinetic Stabilizer, Healing salve, but I feel that dps isn't enough.
My strategy for preparing for DC is to get most possible levels before it - right before 24 lvl I do Old Forest, after SherTul Fortress I'm trying to reach Daikara, this time I fald and got DC before Daikara.

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