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Author Topic: Nightmare advice?  (Read 12567 times)

horos

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Nightmare advice?
« on: January 20, 2017, 02:57 »

Hi everyone. Old returning player, i'm sure there's been quite a few of those, so no need for anything special.

I saw there was a quick questions thread...but I thought the question required a more 'broad' answer then the thread might have given. If that's wrong, please feel free to get me to repost/merge it there, and sorry in advance!

Anyway, I really enjoy playing DoomRL and eagerly await the next version...if indeed there will be one, with all the Jupiter Hell activity. However, I've reached a bit of a lull in my adventures. The maximum difficulty I can reasonably attempt is UV - I don't have a problem with doing challenges on that difficulty, and indeed that's my default setting unless i'm doing a fun run or playing AoB (I could do it, I imagine, but I don't want to be running around throwing knives at a Hell Knight on the first few floors for ages just to get max kill rate. :p). However, I struggle a lot with Nightmare....

Indeed, i've only played around 10 games on nightmare in the past, going back to.. 0.9.9, if my memory serves me correctly. And I remember each time it was utterly frustrating to play - Respawning enemies is one thing, but they also have the 10% speed buff (Or you have a 10% speed penalty, I don't remember which) and on top of that, they spawn even worse then UV.

Now, this could be attributed to my playstyle. I do do a lot of camping and cornershooting with giftdropping (A recent UV game of mine was 594499 turns, and this was even after I got the BFG and the Scythe and practically destroyed the hell levels with berserk and high movespeed), which leaves a pile of corpses stacked on the wall next to me. Now, that's not that bad even if there's a few Archviles around, focus them down first, then go back to gibbing whatever they ressurected, but on N! at low levels when you're armed with a few traits and even fewer methods to clean up corpses besides stacking them, this strategy is completely unviable.

I was hoping to get some advice from some of the more experienced players on how to ease into Nightmare. Ease being a relative term, of course. I've played a few games hoping to get some experience for myself, but have had little success in getting...well, anywhere, really. And i'm really not looking forward to the N! Hellgate, which just looks flat up impossible with nightmare enemies at such a low dlevel...it makes UV Phobos Lab look like a picnic.

As an extension question - how do you complete no damage/speed challenges? Now, obviously you can kite the Angel of Death around the UC - that's no big deal if you have enough movespeed and combat knives (Or you are confident in timing your steps and attacks). And taking on enemies 1v1 damageless is also suitably easy given you have some form of cover or high movespeed. But how are you supposed to do this with multiple enemies?

Now, obviously we can't all be Neo, er, TwoDev, but I don't understand in what way he (and others! Credit where credit is due) performs some of the challenges he does - and in very little time, at that! A recent AoMs YAAM of mine gave me the line " He played for 2 hours, 35 minutes and 8 seconds.", and i'd consider that fairly fast!

In what way do you go about doing challenges like this? Things like the higher level gatekeeper badges, clearing the mortuary without damage, etc.

I understand it is supposed to be difficult, but I don't understand what basic tactics or the method you would go about doing these kinds of things. Having random creatures fireball you out of the blue happens to me more often then not unless I camp - which doesn't work on these kinds of challenges. And the Gatekeeper just seems flat out impossible, given i've never gone to the bruiser brothers without a significant paddling.

Thanks in advance for the advice. It's quite frustrating having worked out how to pick up the Dragonslayer on a recent Ao100 game I completed (No Berserker Armor spawned, unfortunately) and having the feeling of "I worked out a cool secret!" overshadowed by "It takes me over half an hour to get past Phobos Base Entry on Nightmare", so I greatly appreciate it.
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Sereg

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Re: Nightmare advice?
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2017, 21:15 »

Hopefully you'll get input from someone more qualified then myself here, because I suspect you're already well above my skill level when it comes to Nightmare challenges. The only method I've had success with is the one named in my honor - Sereging, whereby one uses (or combines with) Angel of Overconfidence to start the game in Hell, and relies on the starting items, luck, and a holy hell of a lot of attempts to complete the challenge.

While effective for some challenges, it provides very little help for things like clearing the Hellgate or handling the early levels for challenges that don't permit AoOC.
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horos

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Re: Nightmare advice?
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2017, 21:53 »

Quote
because I suspect you're already well above my skill level when it comes to Nightmare challenges.

Haha, no way. I tried playing a bunch of N! AoB games to grab all the berserk packs in the CC and run through to UC for the...platinum? Badge, and didn't get any further then around dlevel 4 with maybe 30-40% kills at best. :p As I said, i'm just completely incompatible with Nightmare, seemingly. The best I had was when I had a few levels of Brute and just camped next to a doorway waiting for all the imps/formers to come and smacking them there, but then a HK appeared, and I was already tired and low on health kits... YASD right there.

Thanks for the advice on "sereging", Sereg! I'll give it a go for doing a few challenges to rank up, and with a bit of RNG it should be pretty smooth sailing. However, relying on "luck and a lot of attempts" is actually the opposite of what I wanted to do - I can do UV runs with a great deal of consistency (Well, except AoB - I haven't tried because kiting Hell Knights around a corner/container is a tad boring and risky with my skill level), and I wanted to move into N! with the same goal - to achieve consistent results. Only the most horrid RNG situations (or a few impatient keyclicks leading to pistolwhipping a shambler...) tend to mess me around, and that's where i'd like to get to on N!.

Thanks for your reply though! I'll go give it a shot when I next get some spare time.
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Thomas

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Re: Nightmare advice?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2017, 02:24 »

30 to 40% kills would be fine (perhaps even too low) if you were using guns, but it's way too high for the first few levels of N! AoB. You should play N! AoB as a scout (for stair sense) and never fight anything between dlvl 2 and 5 unless you have a really good reason to.

You won't be able to get to the chained court consistantly on N! AoB no matter how good you are - Longinus Platinum is far easier on a standard N! game. This is because the N! strategy that works best in my experience is picking melee traits and using shotguns/explosives. Berserker is the most powerful trait in the game, and in the second half of the game it will be proccing so frequently that you'll naturally transition towards wanting to use the chainsaw or spear even though you have guns.
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horos

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Re: Nightmare advice?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2017, 07:01 »

Hi Thomas! Thanks for the advice. I gave an attempt at Longinus Platinum a go following what you said! Here's the mortem.

--------------------------------------------------------------
 DoomRL (0.9.9.7) roguelike post-mortem character dump
--------------------------------------------------------------

 horos, level 6 Hell Baron 2nd Lieutenant Marine,
 was eaten alive by a nightmare demon at the Hellgate.
 He survived 14715 turns and scored 79252 points.
 He played for 30 minutes and 1 second.
 He opposed the Nightmare!

 He killed 210 out of 289 hellspawn. (72%)

-- Special levels --------------------------------------------

  Levels generated : 11
  Levels visited   : 1
  Levels completed : 0

-- Awards ----------------------------------------------------

  None

-- Graveyard -------------------------------------------------

  ###########################################################
  #################################.................#########
  #################################..................######..
  ########...............i.....####...................###....
  ########.O......i..........O.####...................#......
  ########.....................####...................#......
  #..||..#.....................#......................#......
  #......#..........c..........#......................#......
  #......#............ccc......#......................#......
  #....../.............X.......+......................#......
  #......#............ccc......#......................#......
  #......#..........c..........#......................#......
  #..||.^#.....................#......................#......
  ########.........i...........####...................#......
  ########.......O.......i.....####...................#......
  ########.................O...####...................###....
  #################################..................######..
  #################################.................#########
  ###########################################################
  ###########################################################

-- Statistics ------------------------------------------------

  Health 0/60   Experience 11004/6
  ToHit Ranged +0  ToHit Melee +4  ToDmg Ranged +0  ToDmg Melee +6

-- Traits ----------------------------------------------------

  Class : Marine

    Brute            (Level 2)
    Berserker        (Level 1)
    Badass           (Level 2)
    Vampyre          (Level 1)

  Bru->Bru->Ber->Bad->Bad->MVm->

-- Equipment -------------------------------------------------

    [a] [ Armor      ]   red armor [2/4] (45%)
    [b] [ Weapon     ]   chainsaw (4d6)
    [c] [ Boots      ]   protective boots [2/2] (100%)
    [d] [ Prepared   ]   shotgun (8d3) [1/1]

-- Inventory -------------------------------------------------

    [a] pistol (2d4) [6/6]
    [b] green armor [1/1] (100%)
    [c] combat knife (2d5)
    [d] 10mm ammo (x32)
    [e] shotgun shell (x50)
    [f] shotgun shell (x50)
    [g] shotgun shell (x32)
    [h] small med-pack
    [i] small med-pack
    [j] large med-pack
    [k] large med-pack
    [l] power mod pack
    [m] technical mod pack
    [n] steel boots [1/1] (100%)

-- Resistances -----------------------------------------------

    Acid       - internal 0%    torso 0%    feet 25% 
    Fire       - internal 0%    torso 12%   feet 0%   

-- Kills -----------------------------------------------------

    44 former humans
    14 former sergeants
    15 former captains
    71 imps
    7 demons
    38 lost souls
    9 cacodemons
    4 hell knights
    6 barons of hell
    2 pain elementals

-- History ---------------------------------------------------

  He started his journey on the surface of Phobos.
  On level 5 he stormed the Chained Court.
  On level 8 he encountered the Phobos Anomaly.
  On level 8 he finally was eaten alive by a nightmare demon.

-- Messages --------------------------------------------------

 There is a red armor [4/4] (100%) lying here.
 There is a red armor [4/4] (100%) lying here.
 You equip a red armor [4/4] (100%) from the ground.
 There is a Large Health Globe lying here.
 You feel like new!
 You open the door.
 Suddenly the walls lower! You dodge! You dodge! You are hit! You are hit! You
 dodge! You dodge! You dodge! The missile hits the nightmare demon. The
 missile hits the nightmare demon.
 You dodge! The missile hits the nightmare demon. The missile hits the
 nightmare demon. You dodge! The missile hits the nightmare imp.
 You hit the nightmare demon. You dodge! The missile hits the nightmare demon.
 You dodge! The missile hits the nightmare demon. The missile hits the
 nightmare demon. The nightmare demon hits you. The nightmare demon hits you.
 The nightmare demon hits you. The nightmare demon hits you. Your red armor is
 damaged! You die!... Press <Enter>...

-- General ---------------------------------------------------

 34 brave souls have ventured into Phobos:
 23 of those were killed.
 And 2 couldn't handle the stress and committed a stupid suicide.

 9 souls destroyed the Mastermind...
 5 killed the bitch and survived.
 4 showed that it can outsmart Hell itself.

--------------------------------------------------------------

I tried my best - and was doing well, I berserked from the CC right up until the stairs of the hellgate. I wanted to try and get a lucky proc off one of the demons, but...well, as you can see...

Code: [Select]
You hit the nightmare demon. You dodge! The missile hits the nightmare demon.
 You dodge! The missile hits the nightmare demon. The missile hits the
 nightmare demon. The nightmare demon hits you. The nightmare demon hits you.
 The nightmare demon hits you. The nightmare demon hits you. Your red armor is
 damaged! You die!... Press <Enter>...

I kinda just died in one turn. How do people complete this level on N!, let alone damageless? Phase device abuse? What happens if you don't encounter one?

I tried to go as quick as I could through the levels, but the enemies are a lot more accurate and unforgiving then UV.

It's hard to pick one thing from just a mortem - i tried to gib corpses in explosions, in fluids and doors as much as possible, for example - but any advice here?
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ZicherCZ

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Re: Nightmare advice?
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2017, 08:57 »

IMHO, you might have done better if you switched tactics to running and ran back to the left entrance. Running lowers enemy accuracy and increases you speed, so even if you would probably take a few bites, you could make it there. And once there, you could at least face the demons one at a time, instead of being surrounded by six of them ...
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Tormuse

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Re: Nightmare advice?
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2017, 13:22 »

I have to go to work in a moment, but very briefly...

Now, obviously we can't all be Neo, er, TwoDev, but I don't understand in what way he (and others! Credit where credit is due) performs some of the challenges he does - and in very little time, at that!

I think it's best not to try to make sense of 2Dev's games; they don't make sense to anyone else either.  :P

I kinda just died in one turn. How do people complete this level on N!, let alone damageless? Phase device abuse? What happens if you don't encounter one?


I don't think it's possible to do it damageless without a lucky phase device or invulnerability.  You can reduce the damage a lot by rocket-jumping out of the ambush, but that strategy depends on you having completed Hell's Arena, so it wouldn't have helped you in this case.

Other than that, lots of corner-shooting, radar-shooting, and generally shooting enemies outside of their visual range so they don't get a chance to shoot you.  I recorded myself doing this not too long ago; you can see it at the beginning of this video.  (Ultra-Violence difficulty, but you get the idea)

More later; gotta go!
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horos

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Re: Nightmare advice?
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2017, 17:13 »

Thank you both so much for your responses! Everything helps me puzzle it out a little more. I appreciate it a lot!

IMHO, you might have done better if you switched tactics to running and ran back to the left entrance. Running lowers enemy accuracy and increases you speed, so even if you would probably take a few bites, you could make it there. And once there, you could at least face the demons one at a time, instead of being surrounded by six of them ...

I see! I was going to do just that - and use a large medikit - after I procced a berserk, but...well, you can see how that ended up. :p

I know when surrounded by enemies like that i've had YASDs result from the time it takes to change tactics, and I suppose what was going through my mind was "I don't want to risk it"? I'm not sure. But if I get that far again, i'll definitely give that strategy a try!


I think it's best not to try to make sense of 2Dev's games; they don't make sense to anyone else either.  :P

Haha, that's fair enough! I'm curious to know *how* he does it, but i'll take what I can get!

Quote
I don't think it's possible to do it damageless without a lucky phase device or invulnerability.  You can reduce the damage a lot by rocket-jumping out of the ambush, but that strategy depends on you having completed Hell's Arena, so it wouldn't have helped you in this case.

Ahh, yes! The rocket jump! Why didn't I think of that...? (I suppose i've never had need to use it before, so...)

That's a brilliant idea that should help with a lot more consistency. Thanks!

I suppose you can get lucky finding a rocket launcher before the hellgate, too, but if you *need* a Phase device or a Rocket Launcher to clear it on N!...well. :p

Quote
Other than that, lots of corner-shooting, radar-shooting, and generally shooting enemies outside of their visual range so they don't get a chance to shoot you.  I recorded myself doing this not too long ago; you can see it at the beginning of this video.  (Ultra-Violence difficulty, but you get the idea)

Wow, that was one lucky phase device, damn!

That's the kind of strategy that I tend to use on ultra violence - and it works great. (Mind you, i'm a tad more slow about it :p) It tends to not work on N!, for me, I find, since in the time that it's taken for me to scout/damage mobs at range (With the 2x armour applied, and damage falloff at range on shotguns) that ones i've killed recently in the area have respawned. I'm not sure if there's a formula to the respawning of if i've just been really unlucky with times; On that mortem I posted earlier I actually spent a few turns waiting outside the base entry to try and stack corpses in the door, and around 5-10 wait turns after I killed him last, one sergeant I missed that was chilling out above me would respawn.

It not working for me in N! - and perhaps i'm just doing it wrong, haha - is the premise behind the topic, after all!

Quote
More later; gotta go!

Don't feel obligated to reply! I appreciate the advice of course, but work takes priority!

-----------

One thing i've gained from the replies so far is that N! Games seem to depend on RNG factors - or massive feats of skill (Getting the RL from N! HA to do the hellgate, for example) to be completed with any amount of consistency. Is that correct? (Obviously skill helps, but i'm talking about doing very ~diamond level stuff on a regular basis to...essentially consistantly complete a ~platinum level standard win.)
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Thomas

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Re: Nightmare advice?
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2017, 22:01 »

Here's some more information about Berserker:
The way Berserker works is pretty consistant - the effect lasts for 20 turns and if you melee attack four times in a row you will definitely go berserk. Sometimes it's less than four, which depends on how many enemies are in LOS, I think. This effect will help out if you climb down stairs and end up right next to a big enemy or a large group of them.

But the other way it can proc is by taking heavy damage in a single hit. If you take one third of your maximum HP in damage (lower bounded to 10, if your max HP is below 30) then you certainly go berserk and, not only that, but you retroactively get the 60% damage reduction from being berserk applied to the attack that did the heavy damage to you. This is supremely useful when fighting arch-viles and the cyberdemon, because their powerful attacks usually* trigger this.

No enemy in the inital dlvl 8 ambush on N! can do that much damage in one hit. You don't have enough time to attack four times, either. Also, that fight's dangerous as heck even if you are already berserk! You have to find a way to run through it - I try to keep the very long berserk effect from CC going all the way to dlvl 8 to help out with that.

Basically, Berserker's fantastic if you're facing down the right kind of enemy, but just because you have it doesn't mean you can wade in to melee and get your free win in a big brawl - I mean, you figured that out last game.

*Important cutoffs:
50 max HP - Cyberdemon and AoD melee (usually), Cyberdemon rockets (very usually), Arch-Vile explosion (always). Other late-game enemies might trigger it if you're lucky.
60 max HP - Cyberdemon rockets (half of the time), Arch-Vile explosion (always)
70 max HP - Cyberdemon rockets (possibly)

AoHu - Pretty much any non rapid-fire attack. Cacodemons and hell knights usually won't, making them pretty dangerous!

EDIT: Napalm barrels do more damage than the cyberdemon - they will always make you go berserk even with 60 HP. Acid barrels do equal damage to the cyberdemon, so they're great too. Stand next to them.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2017, 22:04 by Thomas »
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Re: Nightmare advice?
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2017, 22:21 »

I haven't managed a lot of success on N! runs thus far, my best run was when I was away from home over the holidays, and I had to cut that run short somewhere near Hell because I had to go back home. I'll give you a few tips from what I've personally gathered though.

1) Fight most enemies in melee early on, if you can. Most enemies will deal less damage to you with their melee attacks compared to their ranged attacks (especially all kinds of Formers and Arachnotrons), and you don't need to deal with the splash damage. On other difficulty levels it isn't as true (except for Formers and spiders) due to the fact that below UV, they have less accuracy and are less likely to hit you at range.
On top of that there's the fact that N! gives them +50% attack chance, meaning they'll spend less time just moving and more time actually shooting at you. A drawback of moving into melee on lower difficulties is the fact that they'll be attacking you every action they take regardless of their attack chance, but on N! they usually do that anyway.
So if you're herding enemies into a doorway to prevent corpses from spawning then move up into melee range before attacking them.. unless you're confident you can kill them in one more shot. This obviously doesn't apply to Demons, and is situational for Imps since their melee damage output almost matches their ranged one. Also be careful if you're using a shotgun, since the knockback and your position could just knock them out of the doorway instead. This tip is a lot more prevelant on AoD runs though, since waiting for enemies to show up is safer normally. On AoD (unless you have Cateye) you can't really afford to stand around anywhere open while skipping turns, since the enemies will see you before you see them. (I'm mentioning this because I'm doing a N! AoD run myself atm)

2) Abuse Imps if you've managed to kill something important early on and can't find a readily available way of getting rid of the corpse. Imps tend to be plentiful on earlier levels and you generally don't want that Knight/Baron/Cacodemon respawning. Letting an Imp fire at you to get rid of the corpse can hurt a lot less than risking that thing respawning. If you killed it near a wall or something similar you might not even need to get hit - you might be able to dodge to have him splash the corpse anyway.


There are a lot of other general things I could mention, but from what you've told me it sounds like you've got a good grasp of most of it. I thought I'd move onto some points specifically for the Hellgate;

*Switching to the running tactic only takes 0.1 seconds of in-game time. Most of the time, your enemies won't be able to act during that time.
*Switching from running to tired manually is instant.
*Next time you play through the Hellgate, take note of the x-position you trigger the walls dropping - you can activate your running action on the step before that and already be running when the walls drop.
*No matter what build you're using, run towards the entrance. I doubt there's any builds (unless you've been abnormally lucky) that are equipped to handle those enemies in the open. You'll die before you have a chance to go Berserk for Berserk-builds. Malicious Blades builds would have a better chance but would still get hammered by the Cacos and Imps, but might be able to do it with enough Med Kits.
*If possible, have some knockback resistance handy - I'd prioritize getting a Technical mod onto your boots over Tactical Boots in this situation, since getting knocked back by the Cacos/Imps while running towards cover is devastating.
*Related to the previous point, any build that doesn't have a lot of Hellrunner will likely have little chance reaching the entrance before you die without knockback resistance, rocket jumping and/or luck.
*Remotely related to the previous point, the fastest and safest way of getting back to the entrance is probably rocket jumping, if available.

Probably forgot a few points, but that should cover most of what I know. Good luck getting past the Hellgate, in my opinion it's the biggest hurdle on N! - on the run I did get past it everything felt a lot easier afterwards. Stay away from the Mortuary/Limbo unless you're really confident though... Or found an Invulnerability+Nuke.
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horos

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Re: Nightmare advice?
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2017, 00:00 »

Woah! Didn't expect 2 replies so quickly, haha.

Here's some more information about Berserker:
The way Berserker works is pretty consistant - the effect lasts for 20 turns and if you melee attack four times in a row you will definitely go berserk. Sometimes it's less than four, which depends on how many enemies are in LOS, I think. This effect will help out if you climb down stairs and end up right next to a big enemy or a large group of them.

This is amazingly helpful. I knew about the large damage proc of berserk - but not specific numbers, and the fact that it lasts 20 turns (This doesn't get a bonus on N! or such to like, 30 actions or what have you, right?) and procs after 4 attacks - even low damage ones - is really valuable. There were a few times I could have picked up an easy berserk, but didn't. I can do it over now!

Quote
I try to keep the very long berserk effect from CC going all the way to dlvl 8 to help out with that.

Ahh, yeah. That's helpful on scout builds, but I find trying to find the stairs on tech/marine builds very difficult, especially if I get a bunch of rooms level or a maze. I'm not sure if there's a method to how stairs are generated; else i'll chalk that one up to bad luck. :p

That does give me a question - how do more berserk packs/berserker procs stack with a berserk effect already in progress? Linearly? Or is there a cap?

I haven't managed a lot of success on N! runs thus far, my best run was when I was away from home over the holidays, and I had to cut that run short somewhere near Hell because I had to go back home. I'll give you a few tips from what I've personally gathered though.

Thanks a bunch! I try to get in melee where possible, but often times i'm spawned in a large space with enemies all around me :p

I appreciate the tip about using imps to gib corpses - that's not a bad idea! I'm so focused on trying to avoid taking damage i'm not thinking about potential damage.

And finally, thanks for your wishes of good luck. I'm going to need it...

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ZicherCZ

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Re: Nightmare advice?
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2017, 00:26 »

That does give me a question - how do more berserk packs/berserker procs stack with a berserk effect already in progress? Linearly? Or is there a cap?
Well, procs from Berserker trait scale down with the number of turns you already have on your berserk counter (the more turns from previous procs remain, the less you gain from the next proc), and is hard-capped at 100 turns. See here: https://drl.chaosforge.org/wiki/Traits#Berserker
Berserk pack grants 50 turns (+25% if you are a N! Marine, +50% for lower-difficulty Marines). The Wiki gives no indication of scaling or a cap for Berserk packs - a little code-diving would be needed here.

And just by the way, the Wiki is a great knowledge base :).
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Thomas

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Re: Nightmare advice?
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2017, 00:44 »

Yeah, what they said.

I wouldn't bother thinking too hard about the precise turn count, just know that you only get 20 when you start with a Berserker proc instead of a big powerup of The Good Stuff.
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Arch-Vile Chaos Major Thomas
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Minaro

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Re: Nightmare advice?
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2017, 03:56 »

It's also important to note that Berserk (and all other similar powerup effects) last for X turns rather than a set amount of time, unlike most other things function in the game. In other words a lategame Son of a Gun build would eat up your powerups very quickly, even if you're not actually using a lot of time. This is especially important if you're ever detonating a timed nuke with an invulnerability sphere active - if you want to be safe, just use the 'Wait' command since it always waits 1 second.

I'm not sure if instant actions count as a turn for them, I'll have to check that out later using Juggler, but I know that even 0.1 second actions use up a full turn.
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Sereg

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Re: Nightmare advice?
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2017, 11:49 »

[...]This is especially important if you're ever detonating a timed nuke with an invulnerability sphere active[...]

Hey, I've done that!

Yeah, be very careful with nukes, kids.
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