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Messages - Thomas

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on the topic of the cathedral, is there any hp threshold where actually beneficial to use azrael's scythe ability to get berserked more often?

The main thresholds are 30, 50 and 60.

You always want to be below (or equal to) 60 max HP, because then Arch-Vile attacks will always make you go berserk. 50 max HP is even better because then Cyberdemon and Angel of Death melee attacks will make you go berserk.

Going below 50 is risky in my opinion. It will help against things that do medium-high damage, like barons of hell and close-range shotgun blasts, but it also means you die faster to plasma. I'm more scared of plasma, so I don't use the scythe's alt-fire.

Once you get down to 30 max HP, going any lower won't help you go berserk more, because you can't go berserk from an attack that does 9 or less damage no matter how low your max HP is. At 30 or lower (eg. playing an Angel of Humanity challenge run with Berserker) many, many things will make you go berserk, but you have to start watching out for cacodemons and hell knights because they usually do less than 10 damage.

how does tactical rocket launcher help clear that level without taking damage? (also is there other achievment-reward pairs like that which I should know about? I know there's a special one on nightmare, but in other difficulties?)

You can see rank, badge and medal requirements on the DoomRL wiki, on this page:

If you want to kill a shambler without taking damage, rocket launchers are better than shotguns because shamblers have good armor and HP regeneration - killing them with shotguns takes a long time. And the tactical rocket launcher is even better for fighting than a regular rocket launcher because it has much better accuracy and holds 5 rockets instead of 1.

Even before you fight the shambler and on other levels, the tactical rocket launcher deals a lot of damage and knockback at long range, which helps you fight safely and not take damage even when out of cover.

About the chainsaw, is it worthwhile when you don't get brute? Seems like I take a lot of hp damage when I use it to save ammo. I've been carrying it only to make outspeeding the cathedral angel easier. Also I'm glad to hear the BFG is a good use, though unsurprised. The weapon capacity to inventory slot ratio is really high.
When you're fighting a single arachnotron, if you don't have good cover to hide behind then the best strategy is to dodge towards them and kill them in melee range because their melee attack does much less damage than their gun. Using a shotgun will knock them back (and then they'll shoot you), so a chainsaw is really good in this kind of situation.

That's the only situation where I would be very happy to have brought a chainsaw with me without brute, so it doesn't come up very often. If you want to use it to save ammo then you should take brute+berserker or at least juggler, or the cost of using it will always be greater than just shooting them.

It never occured to me that the best use for a mod might be to forego a permanentish power up. That's, like, blasphemy. Well maybe a less RPG mindset is in order, the inventory in this game is the tightest I've ever seen. (Or it seems that way anyway. Maybe it's inexperience seeing as there's a challenge to beat the game with even much less lots.)

Your inventory will mainly depend on how many special levels you want to clear. Clearing special levels generally fills your inventory full of useful junk that you have to carry around for a long time (take the staff to the vaults, take the chainsaw to the cathedral, take some envirosuits to the lava pits)

So any character that wants to do a lot of special levels (or all of them) is pressured in to getting brute and berserker, so that when they run out of ammo halfway through the game they can win the rest of it with the chainsaw/spear that they're built to use.

But if you don't plan on doing a lot of them and you don't want to get brute, then just bring more ammo. You already know it costs a lot of HP to save ammo, and when you think about it like that, 50 shotgun shells will "heal" you more than a small medpack or even a large one. Obviously you need SOME medpacks to live but if you ever run out of ammo, even if it doesn't kill you, then you know that next game you should drop more medpacks or spare weapons for ammo so that it doesn't happen again.

Discussion / Re: Nightmare advice?
« on: January 29, 2017, 22:08 »
I'm right there with you... I haven't achieved Explorer, much less Conqueror, on ANY difficulty, to say nothing of N!.

I've been following this thread without really contributing since my initial posts - it's all quite interesting, but way over my head.

Oh, the mortuary isn't so bad. And conquering is one of the easiest ways to do it too - you'll be prepared for long berserk rampages thanks to UC, and you'll have skulls and a BFG for some large-scale corpse management. Fear has no place in the mortuary, just run right in to the fray and kill everything quickly before too many corpses stand up.

You have more opportunities for corpse disposal (four doorways and lots of pools of lava, as opposed to Hell's Arena which just has...  a single staircase and every other corpse has to be stacked)

Actually, the way I do corpse management in Hell's Arena is probably 60% cacodemon shots*, 20% corpse stacking, 20% "it's just a demon - I'll kill it again if it stands up". I completely forgot that staircases would work!

And I would put City of Skulls in the always beneficial category[...]

Agreed. If every enemy in the city of skulls was worth 0 experience I would still do it for a blood or hatred skull - it's the least dangerous special level.

*I went back and did a couple more N! arena runs and this is a slight exaggeration - I corpse stack more than I thought I did. But it's really not that hard with how obediant pinky demons are when you have Hellrunner 2.

- Chained court + is close to a deathtrap, but the modpacks and staff are great later on, so it's a 'die now or be strong later', and the extra experience often pushes me into enough experience to get hellrunner in time for phobos lab!

Hm? And here I was getting it in time for Phobos Entry!

Discussion / Re: Nightmare advice?
« on: January 29, 2017, 04:06 »
If by "better shape" you mean more health, then that eliminates most levels


the Wall/Containment Area has no healing and really tough enemies, but unique rewards that I personally find very helpful for my playstyle.

Well, what I meant was more like the second thing you brought up - you leave with a higher "net worth" than you entered with, even if it's only because you place an extremely high value on the backpack. I usually complete 0-2 special levels in an N! run because I don't need anything they're offering. Heck, even on UV I know I'm in the market for a BFG (if I don't have berserker) so that I don't spend 200 turns killing the cyberdemon but I'll skip a lot of the other late special levels.

In the few N! runs I played today I ended up being pleasantly surprised by the difficulty of Hell's Arena, but there's no way CC+ is worth doing! At least now I can go for a guaranteed rocket launcher and, thus, a new way to get through the Anomaly in one piece.

Discussion / Re: Nightmare advice?
« on: January 28, 2017, 21:23 »
I've always thought this is hilarious!  :D  I guess your character is so skilled at waving knives around that they can deflect the lava away from touching your feet?  How does that work?  :P

Knife stilts, my dude.

I almost always play N! runs as conquerer. I think the special levels are a really interesting exercise in strategic thought. :(
Wow...  I still remember the days when I had no idea it was possible to get Conqueror in N!  How times change, eh?  :)

Indeed. Hearing that it's your preferred way of playing N! is quite surprising and might embolden me to take a crack at it some time. It's a shame that none of the badges/medals really encourage it - over things that are literally impossible, like damageless N!, no less.

Are there any special levels (beyond the ones where corpse management is trivial, like Skulls and Carnage) where you feel that you come out in better shape than you went in with, or is it entirely the desire for Conqueror that makes you do them?

Discussion / Re: Nightmare advice?
« on: January 28, 2017, 04:25 »
If you really wanted to record something, perhaps a guide to all of the special levels.

I'm not very familiar with everyone's Nightmare strategies, but I doubt that many of the special levels on N! are ever worth it even for master players - unless you're going for a badge that requires you to complete one of the harder ones, then it's time to stack corpses and chug health packs. Some of the special levels have specific strategies on UV (like blowing up the Wall in a way condusive to corner-shooting, and out-maneuvering the barons in CC+) but on Nightmare! basically all I have in mind is "which of the following three categories does each special level fall in to"

Can be completed basically just the same as UV:
Carnage, Skulls, Cathedral, that's about it?

Can be ran through without too much fighting or taking damage:
Arena, Lava, Deimos, Armory, etc...

Death trap:
Phobos, CC+, Limbo, etc...

Discussion / Re: Nightmare advice?
« 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.

Discussion / Re: Nightmare advice?
« 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.

Discussion / Re: Nightmare advice?
« 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.

For MAD build, I recommend SoB.  8d3+1 doesn't sound like much, but I find it adds up more quickly than you might expect.  Obviously, you get more bang for your buck with rapid-fire weapons, but it's still not to be underestimated for shotguns.

To add to this - SoB is added after the distance penalty, so you're getting a bit more relatively than just +1 on your 16 average. It can be fairly important when you're fighting at mid-range and it turns your 9 in to a 10, giving you knockback.

Discussion / Re: Balancing Assemblies
« on: April 08, 2016, 01:23 »
The Tac shotgun doesn't do that any more; it only loads one shell per movement in this version.  (It really has been a while since you played!)  ;)  Is that enough of a nerf for you?  I don't think a damage nerf would be a good idea; no one would ever use it again.  Personally, I think it's fine the way it is.

When I said "a while" I only meant half a year! I guess I just forgot about that bit.

I still think it's too good, though. It's my most-made assembly (barely beats tac boots, 5x more than tac armor and micro launcher) and every time I assemble it, it's my primary weapon for the entire game, outside of special levels in Hell.

EDIT: this used to say "I might use the tactical shotgun a lot because the other shotguns are bad" but I thought about it and that's not entirely it.
My companions to the tactical shotgun are generally the double shotgun and anything that makes big explosions. But the tactical shotgun is the most ammo-efficient of them all and works at any range, from point blank to edge of LOS.

It means that there's rarely thoughts of "My tactical shotgun won't work here, I need to swap", only things like "Here I am at The Wall/The City of Skulls, where I understand that I'll always be at the appropriate range for my Rocket Launcher/Double Shotgun." and "It's level 23 and I have finally ran out of shells, let's missile launcher our way through the rest of the game"

While it's true that there's plenty of armour around, sometimes, it's helpful to have an unbreakable armour to fall back on so you don't have to switch between damaged armours; having to switch armour during combat can be deadly.  (Potentially saves you an inventory slot too)  I don't always get it, but there are definitely situations where it's useful.  I wouldn't recommend removing the protection penalties, because then it becomes the same as an Onyx mod and then the Onyx mod isn't special any more. Right now, it's sort of a "poor man's Onyx assembly," for games where you don't get an Onyx mod and I think it works well as it is.

I did forget that Onyx even existed - so if BP and O just gave the same effect then that would be no good. I'm not sure how I would buff it now.

I don't really feel pressured by armor durability most of the time. Unmodded armor only becomes worse than nanofiber armor at 25% durability, and armor shards or new armor is plentiful enough that I rarely see my armor degrade to < 25%. (unless it's A-modded, then I'll gladly wear it all the way down to 0 unless I'm saving it to make tac armor)

And when my unmodded blue/red armor falls below 50% (or becomes nanofibered through some cruel twist of fate) I sometimes just take it off anyway! Do I want to trade 20% of my movespeed for 2 armor? Or 10% for 1? Well, yeah, usually but not always. But when I'm thinking of my armor as a slight upgrade to "literally being naked", there's probably something better just around the corner, like that 80% durability green that just dropped off my latest kill.

Discussion / Re: Balancing Assemblies
« on: April 07, 2016, 23:51 »
(A story about how important cornershooting is to victory)
The problem is that currently, the game is not ready for a removal of this mechanism.  Remembers me when I didn't know about cornershooting... every run we tried ended-up at the wall... (Dlvl 7 IIRC, as of  And we were playing HNTR !

Yep. I think everyone knows that if cornershooting were removed it would need to be replaced by something else immediately. But it's (probably) not happening for DoomRL, and if it did happen for JH then I would want this 'something else' to also promote positional tactics.

Oh, and btw, having to choose between moving and shooting doesn't help promoting "dodging" strategies.  The contradiction is quite obvious : as soon as you encounter an enemy, you can :
A) try to dodge, leaving the baddy unharmed, and still getting some little chance to get hit
B) attack, negating all of your dodge, and making your traits useless, but... at least, after some shots, you'll have shot the bad guy.
You can't rely on your dodge if you need to stop and stand still everytime there's an enemy.  I know I simplified the problem (dodging mancubi, or dodging between bareels can be more effective than what my A) pretends), but the issue remains : choosing A) will most of the time lead you nowhere, and you'll have to choose B) soon or later, making the dodging just an uneeded way of taking some extra damages.

This isn't entirely correct. Obviously dodging around doesn't kill enemies unless, like you said, it's causing friendly fire between them. What the dodging system promotes is repositioning. You find a good spot to shoot the enemies from, you figure out a path towards it made out of sidestep moves and then you dodge your way there. It's what lets you start shooting in the first place.

Dodging can also get you closer to killing an enemy in more direct ways if you're playing Shottyman, naturally. Reloading is just as important as shooting for dealing damage.
And Shottyhead makes fighting in the open actually quite powerful, although it's only sometimes because of dodging (other times it's because of repeated knockback at the edge of your vision circle - cornershooting without the corner)

I'm probably just saying things you already knew. But anyway, comparing "moving" to "shooting" is only part of the picture when you're thinking about how useful sidestep dodging is.

Also, I think monster's chance to miss is currently too high without skills, and skills don't help the way they would need to.  You don't need HR to just start "running" and shotgun-to-death an enemy with your 100% accuracy while your "running" tactic makes him miss 2/3 of his attacks, despite the fact you're not actually moving.

I never feel like I dodge more when I get hellrunner. I'd only be slightly surprised if someone went in to the code and found "oh, whoops! That part hasn't been working for years!" I still get it a lot for the movespeed, though.

But what you said is interesting. Running mode is very powerful and I'm not sure how it should be changed.

One thing I could imagine, if covers get removed, would be the idea of implementing lost-soul-like projectiles, which take time to reach the player, and can be dodged. (also, monster's attack should be preceded by an animation so that the player can stand-up in the open without too much risks of getting shred in 2 turns).
I really love the way lost sould work since, they force the player to choose between taking some damages or get forced to move, which is something you often would prefer to avoid.  I think the games needs more mechanins forcing the player to choose between plague and cholera, it's something always fun to deal with :)

Actually, since you mentioned this, I've been working on my own game and I'm trying to make it so you can avoid most of the damage with positioning, but without cornershooting (or any kind of cover). I only came up with three kinds of ranged attacks, and you just mentioned two of them: 'Lost soul'-style projectiles, attacks that happen after a warning, and attacks that can only be fired at certain angles.

I'm interested to see what kind of enemy attacks and/or cover systems show up in JH.

Discussion / Re: Balancing Assemblies
« on: April 07, 2016, 09:47 »
Well, there are multiple reasons that they chose to use high-variance damage (I would hope), I just felt like there was a connection there. Because damage doesn't add up in the long term (usually), at least some individual fights have to be dangerous on their own. And to make some fights dangerous without making them all dangerous, they made most attacks deal 2d20 on a 50% hit instead of 8d3 with perfect accuracy.

Don't get me wrong, I actually dislike the swinginess of Crawl's damage and I wish enemy damage was easier to anticipate, but it works just fine. I wouldn't *want* DoomRL to go this route without a good reason, I'm just trying to say it's definitely possible to have a system where you're not always able to avoid damage even with ideal positioning. Would said system be more fun and interesting IN DoomRL? I don't know! But whatever becomes of DoomRL and/or JH I'd be glad to test it out.

Ah, the reason I replied earlier is because I don't agree with this. I love DoomRL much more than any other roguelike and it's because it's basically unique among its classic roguelike peers in being about positional tactics.* Removing cornershooting from DoomRL without replacing it with something else, or not including positional tactics in JH wouldn't make things fun and interesting and I wouldn't be glad to test it out.

*also it's not four times too long

Discussion / Re: Call for Uniques/Exotics
« on: April 07, 2016, 08:30 »
I also live. I agree with basically all of your opinions on specials, don't even know why I'm here posti

Medical Powerarmor:  I've said it before, but I'll say it again: it stinks
and medical armor sucks too >:(

oooh what the
where have you said this, I'm gonna fight ya

Your argument boils down to "what kind of lunatic is going to go down to critical HP without dying, finish the fight without using their HP pack(s) in their inventory as though nothing is wrong and then elect to heal themselves back up to 26% as though that's enough for ANYTHING?"

You see Thomas (Pointing to self with thumbs, almost dead)

Medical armor is fantastic, especially if it shows up early, and I'll hear no complaints - it has good stats for the early game (-5% movespeed compared to blue, but waayy better resistances) and heavily rewards my moronic playstyle. Squeezing out that extra 7 HP before I use the small medpack to put me back on 60% is so good.

But I do agree on medical powerarmor. I use it anyway because I can't help who I am, but it's just not as good. It shows up later when critical HP scenarios are harder to set up, and it has no resistances so it doesn't compare well to basic armor. It's a unique, and being on low HP is great, so instead of bumping the threshold up to 50% it should double down on the critical gimmick. When I put it on (or have it on already) and I'm on 20% HP it should do something nuts.

Discussion / Re: Balancing Assemblies
« on: April 07, 2016, 07:16 »
I haven't played in a while and I only make basic APTB assemblies, but here we go:

Way too good:
Tactical boots
Nobody cares about anything on boots except for movespeed.
How to fix it: Another complete overhaul of the boots/liquid mechanics? Again? We didn't go far enough years ago!?

Tactical shotgun
Upsides over combat shotgun:
  • More damage
  • No pumping
  • Reloads all 5 shells on shottyman movement
  • Negative opportunity cost: Frees up your inventory slot(s) from the mods that you wanted to put on your combat shotgun anyway.
How to fix it: uh. give it some kind of downside.
Anything would work. Maybe a recipe that makes 'less damage' make more sense, like TT or AT. Then it can be 6d3 and at least it would be a poor choice against armored targets.

Speedloader pistol
ugh, who even plays pistol games
This is pretty clearly the best direction to take your pistols in because it's the only basic pistol assembly.
How to fix it: Introduce an alternative.
How to actually fix it: Reduce damage. Damage and reload time are basically the big things for pistol users so you might as well have one trade off for the other.

Micro launcher
Bordering on too good. The regular rocket launcher is bad for actual combat, and the micro launcher improves it in all the right ways with little downside.
How to fix it: Don't fix this, fix the regular rocket launcher!

Tactical armor
The only armor assembly I bother with. There's no other basic armor assemblies, but P-modded armor is good enough (and armor, fragile/plentiful enough) that it's not a no-brainer.

Elephant gun
Even in a world where the tactical shotgun exists, I still use this from time to time. Easy to make, good armor penetration. The only buff it needs is a nerf to its compeditor.

Gatling gun
ugh, who even plays rapidfire
It's alright. Honestly it might be too good, but it doesn't feel like it because it gets in direct competition with the plasma rifle shortly after you make it.

Almost there:
Fireproof armor
Oh right! Tactical armor isn't the only one I bother with!
Nobody ever remembers this exists. It seems good, fire and melee are both important so it's an interesting trade.
How to fix it: Put big neon letters in the title screen telling the player how to make it.

High power
So you get two extra sides on your dice. Isn't that just what we call P2-modded?
How to fix it: Make it do the reverse power mod - it increases the lower XdY number by 1. Then when everyone's melting faces with their 2d7 plasma rifle, nerf it down to balanced from there.

Grappling boots
Bordering on garbage. But occaisionally I'll be playing a melee game and I'll be getting knocked around by enemy attacks and the whole world will go in to black and white infomercial-vision.
"There has to be a better way!"
and if grappling boots were better, maybe I would buy them for 5 easy payments of $11.99.
How to fix it:
-50%? We'll double it! -100% knockback!
Use the new "Toggle boots" keybinding to turn the knockback reduction on and off without taking any time!
Order now and we'll throw in a fancy new shotgun, absolutely FREE!*

Nanofiber armor
I already have infinite armor. I'm leaving entire suits of armor on the ground because I can't fit any more in my inventory.
Infinite durability is actually a pretty small upside (on regular armor. on really good armor with movespeed bonuses, holy moly that's not true)
How to fix it: Remove all protection penalties. The only downside should be "you used two mods to make an armor with no +protection or +movespeed"

Fireproof boots
come on, do I need to spell it out
How to fix it: "The intense heat of Mt. Erebus/The Lava Pits has hardened your fireproof boots! A glorious new power is welling up in the bottom of your sole!"
"You now have equipped: Neo-fireproof boots [99/99]"
How to actually fix it: overhaul of liquid/boots system

Okay so this weapon is actually pretty good for malicious blades and whatnot, but it gets to be the big poster child for "melee assemblies are a bit dumb"
All melee assemblies have two big problems:
1. you get artifact melee weapons for free outside of A100, and other melee weapons basically don't try to compete with them
2. They're all basically just 'the same thing but more damage'.

How to fix melee assemblies:
When I was playing with the modding tools back in the day, I made a combat knife variant called the "big stick". 10d2 damage, +6 acc, 3.0 firedelay. I also heavily reduced ammo drops to force myself in to a really generalist playstyle. So while nobody with any levels of Brute is going to choose that over the chainsaw, my usual kind of character would be nervously counting the shotgun shells in his jeans pocket as he gets in to batting stance for the lost soul charging at him.

Basically I'm trying to make two points:
1. I have great ideas.
2. Even after modding your game pretty hard (I really reduced ammo drops) there's only a small amount of melee weapon design space to explore.

Roguelikes like DCSS (or just "Crawl") work just fine with extreme amount of variance on damage and hit rates,

As someone who disagrees with you right here, Crawl's long fights and big damage swings work (for people who like that game) because of its other mechanics, like the regenerating HP system.

Personallly I vastly prefer games balanced around non-regenerating HP - it's much more intuitive to be terrified because you're on 5 HP and the next fireball will kill you rather than because you're on 0 scrolls of blinking (note: I am garbage at crawl. Obviously I mean "consumables in general", though) and the next entire fight with a centaur (really garbage) will.

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