[Crawl] Grey Elf Wizard needs a little help

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

I'm currently playing a Grey Elf Wizard (L18 now), main school is ice.
He's doing quite well, even better than my former DEEE at this stage.

Here's the problem:
My only offensive, well working non-ice spell is Iskenderun's Mystic
Blast. Not bad for now, but I guess I'll need a more powerful
alternative elemental spell for the late game. Air school would be the
obvious choice for a grey elf, though lately I'm also experimenting with
Lehudib's Crystal Spear. For casting the latter I need to wield a staff
of earth, it's useless otherwise. Besides the annoyance of another
swap-weapon (I'm already using 3 swaps, without that staff) it's
inducing weight problems and probably leads to nowhere due to the
terrible skill aptitude in earth magic for grey elves. On the other hand
I doubt there's an adequate replacement for Crystal Spear in the Air
school. Would a staff of conjurations lower the problem with Crystal
Spear? Unfortunately I couldn't find one yet (though I found 12(!)
magical staves already).

I think it's time to make a decision now between Earth and Air, but I'm
really unsure about the best choice. Any Ideas?

Rubinstein
11 answers Last reply
More about crawl grey wizard help
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    For my Ice Elementalists I always choose air as the secondary element.
    It complements Ice in the frost cloud spell, and it provides very
    useful enchantments. Stone Skin and Ozokubu's Armor don't work
    together, and Earth spells are often transmigrations, which Ice magic
    has very few of (or was it just one, even).
    Also, for your character, Air magic would make more sense, because he's
    a Grey Elf, and gets a bonus in learning it. Also, Lightning Bolt could
    make a great alternative offensive spell, if you do find it. In my
    experience (I've gotten DEIE to high 20's several times) Ice
    Elementalists have a lot of offensive power through even low-level
    spells.
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    Rubinstein .-- .-. --- - . ---...

    > I'm currently playing a Grey Elf Wizard (L18 now), main school is ice.
    > He's doing quite well, even better than my former DEEE at this stage.
    >
    > Here's the problem:
    > My only offensive, well working non-ice spell is Iskenderun's Mystic
    > Blast. Not bad for now, but I guess I'll need a more powerful
    > alternative elemental spell for the late game. Air school would be the
    > obvious choice for a grey elf, though lately I'm also experimenting with
    > Lehudib's Crystal Spear. For casting the latter I need to wield a staff
    > of earth, it's useless otherwise. Besides the annoyance of another
    > swap-weapon (I'm already using 3 swaps, without that staff) it's
    > inducing weight problems and probably leads to nowhere due to the
    > terrible skill aptitude in earth magic for grey elves. On the other hand
    > I doubt there's an adequate replacement for Crystal Spear in the Air
    > school. Would a staff of conjurations lower the problem with Crystal
    > Spear? Unfortunately I couldn't find one yet (though I found 12(!)
    > magical staves already).

    It doesn't matter if you wield staff of earth or staff of conjuration when
    you cast Conjuration/Earth spell. This gives you one enhancer anyway. You
    can try however staff of wizardry instead, it gives you less spellpower,
    but probably could give you better casting chances than staff of
    conjuration or earth.


    > I think it's time to make a decision now between Earth and Air, but I'm
    > really unsure about the best choice. Any Ideas?

    Hmm. Earth magic seems difficult (150), so I would stick to Ice and invest
    into special spells that are resistible only up to 50% (Ice Bolt, Ice
    Storm). The earth magic could be needed to handle monsters that normally
    ignore (?) ice spells (Ice monster, undead), but I'm not sure about it. I
    guess that they are affected by these special spells, but I have no
    experience with Ice Storm and I don't remember what was the behaviour of
    Ice Bolt. I guess it will be much easier for your character to develop
    further ice magic than earth.

    --
    Loonie
    ---------------------------------------
    Respondit Pilatus quod scripsi scripsi.
    http://www.crawl.webpark.pl
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    alex.korol@gmail.com wrote:
    > For my Ice Elementalists I always choose air as the secondary element.
    > It complements Ice in the frost cloud spell,

    What you mean by this?

    Btw, meanwhile I dropped (by selective amnesia) frost cloud in exchange
    for ice storm which is much stronger. As the only drawback it's a more
    directional spell and (probably) less useful when casted from a hidden
    corner but still produces a frozen aura like the cloud.

    > and it provides very useful enchantments.

    Agreed. I already used swiftness and repel missiles with my DEEE, now
    I'm using reflect missiles which seems to be even much more useful. I'm
    looking foreward to the Vault and it's yaktaur captains! ;-)

    > Stone Skin and Ozokubu's Armor don't work together, and Earth spells
    > are often transmigrations, which Ice magic has very few of (or was it
    > just one, even).

    Got your point...

    > Also, for your character, Air magic would make more sense, because
    > he's a Grey Elf, and gets a bonus in learning it.

    I knew this and it just feels right to step into air spells, but...

    > Also, Lightning Bolt could make a great alternative offensive spell,
    > if you do find it.

    I'm using it currently, but compared to my offensive ice spells it's not
    that impressive while Crystal Spear was *very* impressive, even
    unskilled (boosted with a staff of earth)!. Everything which Lightning
    Bolt would kill I can do much better with ice spells right now, though I
    hope it's only a matter of skill (air is still very low at 3(4) while
    ice is at 16(0) already).

    > In my experience (I've gotten DEIE to high 20's several times) Ice
    > Elementalists have a lot of offensive power through even low-level
    > spells.

    Of course they have! The reason for my original post and my main
    concerns were about undeads, in particular the later ones (e.g. Liches,
    Arch-Liches -> never met one yet, just have heard horrible things about
    them).
    Since I don't have any experience with offensive air spells, I wonder
    whether they actually are an approximately comparable replacement for
    Crystal Spear...

    Rubinstein
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    In article <ctdpmr$88o$03$1@news.t-online.com>, Rubinstein wrote:
    > alex.korol@gmail.com wrote:
    >> For my Ice Elementalists I always choose air as the secondary element.
    >> It complements Ice in the frost cloud spell,
    >
    > What you mean by this?

    i think he means it's an air/ice/conjuration spell

    > Btw, meanwhile I dropped (by selective amnesia) frost cloud in exchange
    > for ice storm which is much stronger. As the only drawback it's a more
    > directional spell and (probably) less useful when casted from a hidden
    > corner but still produces a frozen aura like the cloud.

    it's handy to have, especially if you use ice beasts a lot. it doesn't
    need a clear LOS, so you can fire it pver the heads of your ice beasts.
    also ice beasts are immune to its effects, whereas they'll be harmed by
    the initial blast of ice storm.

    >> Also, Lightning Bolt could make a great alternative offensive spell,
    >> if you do find it.
    >
    > Everything which Lightning
    > Bolt would kill I can do much better with ice spells right now,

    cold resistant monsters?
    the 50% damage of ice bolt is rubbish, and ice storm isn't usable in all
    circumstances.

    > Since I don't have any experience with offensive air spells, I wonder
    > whether they actually are an approximately comparable replacement for
    > Crystal Spear...

    sadly not: air conjurations are easily the weakest of the four elements.

    --
    ru
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    Loonie wrote:
    > Rubinstein .-- .-. --- - . ---...
    >
    >> [snip Grey Elf Wizard, main (offensive) skill ice, looking for
    >> secondary school and/or replacement for Crystal Spear]
    >
    > It doesn't matter if you wield staff of earth or staff of conjuration
    > when you cast Conjuration/Earth spell. This gives you one enhancer
    > anyway.

    Good to know! :-)

    > You can try however staff of wizardry instead, it gives you less
    > spellpower, but probably could give you better casting chances than
    > staff of conjuration or earth.

    Meanwhile I've got 15 staves in total (at least; I stopped counting
    them), but still no staff of conjuration and also none of wizardry. But
    what I do have is a staff of air which I'm using currently. This of
    course leads to my quadrupel swap arrangement I've tried to prevent. :-/
    I could buy a ring of wizardy from a jewellery, but my ring slots are
    too precious for that, particularly since I've got *very* good randart
    rings.

    >> I think it's time to make a decision now between Earth and Air, but
    >> I'm really unsure about the best choice. Any Ideas?
    >
    > Hmm. Earth magic seems difficult (150), so I would stick to Ice and
    > invest into special spells that are resistible only up to 50% (Ice
    > Bolt, Ice Storm). The earth magic could be needed to handle monsters
    > that normally ignore (?) ice spells (Ice monster, undead), but I'm not
    > sure about it. I guess that they are affected by these special spells,
    > but I have no experience with Ice Storm and I don't remember what was
    > the behaviour of Ice Bolt.

    That were my thoughts, too. Currently 'Mystic Blast' works quite well
    against cold resistant monsters and already even works much better than
    Ice Bolt or Ice Storm (though the latter 2 are very impressive against
    all the rest). But what's about the later undeads like Liches?

    > I guess it will be much easier for your character to develop
    > further ice magic than earth.

    I'ld say that's for sure! As I already said, Air seems the proper 2nd
    school for a grey elf wizard. Again, I just wonder whether it's possible
    to survive the late/end game without Crystal Spear but with Ice and Air
    spells only!

    Rubinstein
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    ru wrote:
    > In article <ctdpmr$88o$03$1@news.t-online.com>, Rubinstein wrote:
    >> alex.korol@gmail.com wrote:
    >>> For my Ice Elementalists I always choose air as the secondary
    >>> element. It complements Ice in the frost cloud spell,
    >>
    >> What you mean by this?
    >
    > i think he means it's an air/ice/conjuration spell

    Ah, I see.

    >>> Also, Lightning Bolt could make a great alternative offensive spell,
    >>> if you do find it.
    >>
    >> Everything which Lightning Bolt would kill I can do much better with
    >> ice spells right now,
    >
    > cold resistant monsters?

    No, against the rest (I'm currently using Lightning Bolt also at non
    cold resistant monsters to increase air skill). Still, against undeads
    it's (currently?) much weaker than Mystic Blast. But I have some doubts
    Mystic Blast alone will be sufficiant for the more dangerous undeads in
    the late game...

    > the 50% damage of ice bolt is rubbish, and ice storm isn't usable in
    > all circumstances.

    ....as I currently experience.

    >> Since I don't have any experience with offensive air spells, I wonder
    >> whether they actually are an approximately comparable replacement for
    >> Crystal Spear...
    >
    > sadly not: air conjurations are easily the weakest of the four elements.

    So I'm still missing a solution for the late/end game...

    Rubinstein
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    bork bork bork Loonie bork 11:21:53 AM bork 1/28/2005 bork bork:

    > Rubinstein .-- .-. --- - . ---...
    >
    > > I'm currently playing a Grey Elf Wizard (L18 now), main school is ice.
    > > He's doing quite well, even better than my former DEEE at this stage.
    > >
    > > Here's the problem:
    > > My only offensive, well working non-ice spell is Iskenderun's Mystic
    > > Blast. Not bad for now, but I guess I'll need a more powerful
    > > alternative elemental spell for the late game.

    You'll be tempted to abandon it (got Selective Amnesia?) at some point. My
    advice: don't. Insanely accurate, cheap, and hunger-free quite soon. It's a
    bit weak, but its judicious use in place of other more expensive alternatives
    will save your hide many times.

    > Air school would be the
    > > obvious choice for a grey elf, though lately I'm also experimenting with
    > > Lehudib's Crystal Spear. For casting the latter I need to wield a staff
    > > of earth, it's useless otherwise. Besides the annoyance of another
    > > swap-weapon (I'm already using 3 swaps, without that staff)

    What are the other swaps?

    > > it's inducing weight problems and probably leads to nowhere due to the
    > > terrible skill aptitude in earth magic for grey elves. On the other hand
    > > I doubt there's an adequate replacement for Crystal Spear in the Air
    > > school. Would a staff of conjurations lower the problem with Crystal
    > > Spear? Unfortunately I couldn't find one yet (though I found 12(!)
    > > magical staves already).

    One of the few very-near-guaranteed acquisitions from a scroll is a staff
    appropriate to your highest skill. Make sure Conjurations is your highest
    spell skill, and then cross your fingers...

    > It doesn't matter if you wield staff of earth or staff of conjuration when
    > you cast Conjuration/Earth spell. This gives you one enhancer anyway. You
    > can try however staff of wizardry instead, it gives you less spellpower,
    > but probably could give you better casting chances than staff of
    > conjuration or earth.

    Aha, I see I replied to Loonie, not you... I'd say \oW is not really worth
    the weight -- they're somewhat useful for fighter-mages (I've been playing
    these a lot), who mostly worry about casting good spells at all, not how
    powerful they are. Conjurerlikes need power. POWER. POOOOOOWEEEEEEEERR
    muahahahahaaaaa

    > > I think it's time to make a decision now between Earth and Air, but I'm
    > > really unsure about the best choice. Any Ideas?

    [...]

    A dissenting opinion...

    Build Earth. Build Air a lot more, but build Earth too. The first few levels
    are cheap, and they'll be a nice aid to Crystal Spear (and should enable you
    to cast it without a swap). Also, if I recall correctly, Annihilations
    contains Tomb of Dorolkohe, which is an insanely great spell (assuming you
    have a way to get out of it -- but even if you have no escape spell, there
    are enough wands of digging/disintegration in the game to cover the typical
    number of times you'll cast ToD). Note that it's Conjuration/Earth, so your
    Conjuration skill will be a big boost.

    A lot of it depends on where you'll be going. The Tomb is a LOT easier if you
    can use ToD (and Abjuration, but that's a given if you'll be using X's for
    the job, which is about the only choice for a GEIE). The Hells are a lot
    easier if you have Earth (mostly the Spear and ToD), too (or Fire in some
    cases). (Actually, the one time I did the Hells, I used ALL FOUR elements,
    always custom-fit to the particular Hell I was visiting at the time.) I
    believe the weapons in the Halls may likewise be resistant to Ice and Air.

    Some thoughts on the thoughts I've seen...

    STONE SKIN: I wouldn't be too worried about not getting use out of it. Your
    best defense against damage is to avoid combat, not to gain a few extra
    points of AC, and anyway, Stone Skin is just one spell.

    LOW APTITUDE: I'm currently running a HOCr with lots of experience spent on
    Spellcasting (aptitude 150) and Enchantments (aptitude 120) and four levels
    of Air (150), 4 of Translocations (aptitude 150), several planned for
    Divinations (160) and perhaps some Transmigrations (160). (Plus several other
    schools with more reasonable aptitudes.) Despite (or because of) all this,
    you still wouldn't want to stand in the way of his axe...

    Graeme Dice once posted the following, when I was busy minimaxing spell
    skills and aptitudes: "The most efficient thing to do is to train those spell
    schools that you plan to use to the level at which the spells you plan to use
    are very
    unlikely to fail." Second most useful Crawl advice I've ever seen. (First
    most was some fellow's guide to surviving when you've got an Ogre, etc.
    breathing down your neck.) I think it applies here.

    HALF-DAMAGE SPELLS: Nice for a lark, not really that great for serious work.
    The Spear is expensive... but its power shows it.

    EARTH'S TIE TO TRANSMIGRATIONS: The Earth/Transmigration spells that come to
    my mind that are tied to Transmigrations are either OK to ignore (e.g.
    Sandblast, Stone Skin, Shatter, Lee's Rapid Deconstruction) or not used
    frequently enough to eat a lot of experience (e.g. Dig). I wouldn't worry
    about it.

    Erik
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    Rubinstein .-- .-. --- - . ---...


    > That were my thoughts, too. Currently 'Mystic Blast' works quite well
    > against cold resistant monsters and already even works much better than
    > Ice Bolt or Ice Storm (though the latter 2 are very impressive against
    > all the rest). But what's about the later undeads like Liches?

    I guess they behave at worst like ordinary undeads plus few extra
    resistances. No monster is really immune to everything, the problem is the
    damage reduction and large HP. Ice Storm has this nice possibility that it
    could be cast as artillery fire, depending on the coordinates received by
    Detect Monsters. Detect monsters could be however problematic for Liches if
    they can detect spellcasting.


    >> I guess it will be much easier for your character to develop
    >> further ice magic than earth.
    > I'ld say that's for sure! As I already said, Air seems the proper 2nd
    > school for a grey elf wizard. Again, I just wonder whether it's possible
    > to survive the late/end game without Crystal Spear but with Ice and Air
    > spells only!

    Try out. ;-)

    --
    Loonie
    ---------------------------------------
    Respondit Pilatus quod scripsi scripsi.
    http://www.crawl.webpark.pl
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    Loonie wrote:
    > Rubinstein .-- .-. --- - . ---...
    >
    > [...]
    > Ice Storm has this nice possibility that it could be cast as artillery
    > fire, depending on the coordinates received by Detect Monsters.

    Are you sure you're not confusing Ice Storm with Freezing Cloud? I'm
    under the impression Ice Storm is a directional spell and blocked by
    walls and corners (not quite correct, but AFAIK the impact has to be in
    LOS)...

    >> Again, I just wonder whether it's possible to survive the late/end
    >> game without Crystal Spear but with Ice and Air spells only!
    >
    > Try out. ;-)

    As a first test I tried the first 2 levels of the Crypt, with Lightning
    Bolt as my main spell. I survived, but it seemed *very* 'expensive'
    (spellpoints, food consumption). Currently I'm starting to train earth
    with Iron Bolt wich, at Earth Magic Level 1 at least doesn't seem weaker
    than Lightning Bolt at Air Magic level 5 (both casted with the
    appropriate staff). The advantages of Lightning Bolt (reflection, 'going
    through' lined up monsters) don't really compensate for it's general
    weakness IMO.

    If Crawl would be like Nethack, I would throw water potions at the
    monsters before any kind of electro-attacks, or I would... no, that's
    inaesthetic. ;-)

    Rubinstein
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    Rubinstein .-- .-. --- - . ---...

    >> Ice Storm has this nice possibility that it could be cast as artillery
    >> fire, depending on the coordinates received by Detect Monsters.
    >
    > Are you sure you're not confusing Ice Storm with Freezing Cloud? I'm
    > under the impression Ice Storm is a directional spell and blocked by
    > walls and corners (not quite correct, but AFAIK the impact has to be in
    > LOS)...

    I'm not quite sure as I never used that, and source-dived for that a long
    time ago. If I'm not wrong it is a spell similar to Fire Storm:

    Ice Storm
    Conjuration/Ice Level: 9
    This spell conjures forth a raging blizzard of ice, sleet and freezing
    gasses.

    The technique I'm talking about is to cast it very close to monster, while
    the monster is not yet in the LOS. This way the monster doesn't see you and
    AFAIR is not activated, while still receiving damage from this area spell.

    >> Try out. ;-)
    > As a first test I tried the first 2 levels of the Crypt, with Lightning
    > Bolt as my main spell. I survived, but it seemed *very* 'expensive'
    > (spellpoints, food consumption). Currently I'm starting to train earth
    > with Iron Bolt wich, at Earth Magic Level 1 at least doesn't seem weaker
    > than Lightning Bolt at Air Magic level 5 (both casted with the
    > appropriate staff). The advantages of Lightning Bolt (reflection, 'going
    > through' lined up monsters) don't really compensate for it's general
    > weakness IMO.

    Apparently you are not buffed enough to use it yet if you lose food on it.
    Anyway Air Magic suffers in mid-game from lack of effective spells, I
    abandoned two characters discouraged by that I think. They are somewhere in
    my unfinished games folder ;-)

    --
    Loonie
    ---------------------------------------
    Respondit Pilatus quod scripsi scripsi.
    http://www.crawl.webpark.pl
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    Erik Piper wrote:
    > bork bork bork Loonie bork 11:21:53 AM bork 1/28/2005 bork bork:
    >
    >> Rubinstein .-- .-. --- - . ---...
    >>
    >> > I'm currently playing a Grey Elf Wizard (L18 now), main school is
    >> > ice. He's doing quite well, even better than my former DEEE at
    >> > this stage.
    >> >
    >> > Here's the problem: My only offensive, well working non-ice spell
    >> > is Iskenderun's Mystic Blast. Not bad for now, but I guess I'll
    >> > need a more powerful alternative elemental spell for the late game.

    Meanwhile that problem is solved: I made a brute force decision towards
    Earth spells. Though it feels somewhat wrong (in terms of role-playing),
    I'm sure it was the right decision. Don't blame me for that, it's not my
    fault when the Air (attack) spells are almost useless.

    I'll soon open a new thread including a character dump and some new
    questions. So far, thanks to all for hints and advices! :-)

    Rubinstein
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