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Early wizard advice - to mithril or not?

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Anonymous
June 7, 2005 1:25:46 PM

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

I've played a lot more fighters than spellcasters
over the years but now I'm playing wizards for a
while. My history with fighters gives me a bias
to want every AC point I can get, so I would like
to ask for some advice from folks withut that bias.

My early wizard has access to dwarvish mithril
body armor but it interferes with force bolt and
the couple of other spells he knows. Chaotic
human male wizard. The game is early enough that
he hasn't encountered non-metalic armor other than
cloaks and the initial [oMR is still the best
encountered. If Sokoban has the "oR maybe that
will change.

For early wizards is it worth going for every AC
point, or is it more usefull to stand off and shoot
force bolt spells? It's still early enough for
spells to cost hunger so far as I know. I have a
bunch of assorted daggers and am slowly building up
my stock of elven. Armor or spells, throwing daggers
remains an option.

Hold off until more non-metalic armor is available
or use the dwarvish mithril until something non-metalic
comes available?

Thanks in advice for opinions.
Anonymous
June 7, 2005 2:23:20 PM

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

Doug Freyburger wrote:
<snip>
> For early wizards is it worth going for every AC
> point, or is it more usefull to stand off and shoot
> force bolt spells? It's still early enough for
> spells to cost hunger so far as I know. I have a

Wizards with high intelligent gets hunger bonus when casting spells.
IIRC, if you have int 17 or higher, you don't use any hunger when
casting spells...

> bunch of assorted daggers and am slowly building up
> my stock of elven. Armor or spells, throwing daggers
> remains an option.

In general, my pets do the majority of fighting until I'm done with
Sokoboan/Mine Town. Until then, I usually wear whatever gives me the
best AC/burden ratio (which means mithril, leather, but not anything
heavy like crystal plate or such, shields and all that). Once I'm done
with those (Especially when I donate my cash to the Mine Town priest),
I ditch the mithril and start looking for non-metalic armors. Mine
town also provides leather gloves and such that I feel comfortable
ditching the body armor all together if I don't find any leather
armors, but leather armors are often available from the guards there.

>
> Hold off until more non-metalic armor is available
> or use the dwarvish mithril until something non-metalic
> comes available?

Also depends on what kind of spells I start with. If I get useful
spells in combat from the beginning (sleep comes to my mind) then I'm
likely to stick without the mithril, but if not, I just wear whatever
the lightest + best AC.

-K
Anonymous
June 7, 2005 6:08:08 PM

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

Ian Stirling wrote:
> Raisse the Thaumaturge <raisse@valdyas.org> wrote:
> > Doug Freyburger wrote:
>
> >> For early wizards is it worth going for every AC
> >> point, or is it more usefull to stand off and shoot
> >> force bolt spells?
>
> > Almost all other people will tell you otherwise, but I play wizards almost
> > exclusively (with a run of other classes every now and again when I feel
> > I've got into a rut) and they never wear metallic armor. Studded leather,
> > ideally speed boots but elven or high or even low boots will do, leather
> > gloves, a leather hat, enchant some of it if you can, and your AC will be
>
> Wearing no metallic armour is generally taking it 'over the top'.
> In the mines, one will usually find at least (after pet testing), +1 hard
> hat and +1 iron shoes from the dwarfs, giving -6AC bonus, or 3AC, when
> worn with the starting cloak.
> And this will typically only take force bolt fail up to 4% or so.
> A fail of 4% doesn't increase the 'miss' rate much.

Thanks for the disagreeing opinions, folks. Exactly what I'd
hoped for: Enough discussion of options that I understand the
consequences of my decisions earlier than by playing a hundred
wizards.

> Force bolt is POWERFUL for a early wizard (say 3-10).
> Mumak at level 5 is trivial, if you just run round it beaning it.
....
> After level 1, I try to arrange it so that I never hit max mana, using
> force bolt to open all doors, or even just randomly shooting walls.
> So that attack spells can be #enhanced fast.

This sounds like what I'll try. I've been enhancing dagger
rapidly but the mithril took all of my spells too much
failure to bother. So I ended up a dagger thrower hunting
for non-metalic armor. The result is it hasn't offered me
to enhance any spells yet. Wizards should get offered spell
enhancements I figure.

> Of course, ideally you'll get a wish for SDSM before you hit the castle.
> Once you get mid-game, you'll possibly want to rethink your armour choice.

Maybe I'll do Sokoban then drop the mithril, maybe I'll
drop the mithril now and cautiously go deeper into the
mines looking for non-metalic armor and the monsters
who can donate it to me.

> Some nice stuff is metallic, like gauntlets of power, so trading the hard
> hat for a elven helm highly enchanted is probably a good plan.

Except for Valk I often prefer dexterity over power even for
fighters. Hmm, I should check what dexterity is made from
first. At the moment no gloves yet and most likely leather
from the mine town if my pet gets big enough to make the
watch do donations of items.

> Mithril is good for the magic cancellation - there isn't much else if you
> want to keep the cloak on. (Coranthum is about it)

Mithril has AC-to-weight ratio over other armor that is
available early. That's why it was the first body armor
I tried on. I could easily keep the initial [oMR for the
whole game and use Magicbane for redundant MR.

General impressions:

Just how strictly to pursue AC over everything else or to
avoid metal over everything else is a matter of taste.
Opinions range to both extremes.

Gloves, helmet and boots hurt spells less than metallic
body armor. So either go for good g/h/b then ditch mithril
or ditch mithril and go for good g/h/b.

Either way, any time leather stuff comes available switch
to it from any metal. Sounds to me like it is time to
watch for elves.

With force bolt available use it on everything until you
can enhance that spell school. Thanks, I didn't know it
was such a good attack spell.
Anonymous
June 7, 2005 6:12:06 PM

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

In article <1118161546.400403.43220@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,
Doug Freyburger <dfreybur@yahoo.com> wrote:

>I've played a lot more fighters than spellcasters over the years but now
>I'm playing wizards for a while.

>My history with fighters gives me a bias
>to want every AC point I can get, so I would like to ask for some advice
>from folks withut that bias.


[much snippage about daggers and hunger]


>Hold off until more non-metalic armor is available or use the dwarvish
>mithril until something non-metalic comes available?


Doug,

It's your game. Play it how you like it. You know the spellcasting penalties
for wearing armor. It's your decision to make.

My 1st acension was a wizard. I played it for quite a while. High AC more
often than not gets you killed.

The games that I play now where the protection racket is the first short
term goal would fit perfectly into your description above. I'm play
archeologists right now and I armor them up. Since the pet does most of the
initial killing (other than kobold zombies for the alignment bonus and newts
to boost power points) I have no interest in beating on much of anything
before getting to the Minetown Priest.

So personally I would wear the mithril until I got the free protection AC
then I'd lose it and get into some studded leather until I got a wish for
SDSM which I would ascend with.

BAJ
Anonymous
June 7, 2005 10:35:20 PM

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

Doug Freyburger wrote:

> For early wizards is it worth going for every AC
> point, or is it more usefull to stand off and shoot
> force bolt spells?

Almost all other people will tell you otherwise, but I play wizards almost
exclusively (with a run of other classes every now and again when I feel
I've got into a rut) and they never wear metallic armor. Studded leather,
ideally speed boots but elven or high or even low boots will do, leather
gloves, a leather hat, enchant some of it if you can, and your AC will be
around 0 and you can get far enough to get a wish, or kill a dragon, and
boost yourself up.

I've ascended half a dozen wizards (at least four wielding nothing but the
+2 Magicbane into the endgame), and I'm not a very successful or careful
player, so it's possible.

Raisse, killed by a Green-elf

--
irina@valdyas.org LegoHack: http://www.valdyas.org/irina/nethack/
Status of Raisse (piously neutral): Level 8 HP 63(67) AC -3, fast.
Anonymous
June 7, 2005 10:37:36 PM

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

Raisse the Thaumaturge <raisse@valdyas.org> wrote:
> Doug Freyburger wrote:
>
>> For early wizards is it worth going for every AC
>> point, or is it more usefull to stand off and shoot
>> force bolt spells?
>
> Almost all other people will tell you otherwise, but I play wizards almost
> exclusively (with a run of other classes every now and again when I feel
> I've got into a rut) and they never wear metallic armor. Studded leather,
> ideally speed boots but elven or high or even low boots will do, leather
> gloves, a leather hat, enchant some of it if you can, and your AC will be

Foolish, IMO.

Wearing no metallic armour is generally taking it 'over the top'.
In the mines, one will usually find at least (after pet testing), +1 hard
hat and +1 iron shoes from the dwarfs, giving -6AC bonus, or 3AC, when
worn with the starting cloak.
And this will typically only take force bolt fail up to 4% or so.
A fail of 4% doesn't increase the 'miss' rate much.

What I do is to skip the body armour first, except for leather/studded/
crystal plate mail.
If I find CPM, I tend to wear that, and try to build strength fast, and
cache a lot.

Wearing metallic gloves, or a small shield after this is a really bad plan,
as that takes the fail up quite high.

Force bolt is POWERFUL for a early wizard (say 3-10).
Mumak at level 5 is trivial, if you just run round it beaning it.

Key skills to learn are manoevering enemies in such a manner that you
can get shots at several monsters at once.

And running away shooting bolts over your shoulder (better with speed boots
of course)

After level 1, I try to arrange it so that I never hit max mana, using
force bolt to open all doors, or even just randomly shooting walls.
So that attack spells can be #enhanced fast.

Of course, ideally you'll get a wish for SDSM before you hit the castle.
Once you get mid-game, you'll possibly want to rethink your armour choice.
Some nice stuff is metallic, like gauntlets of power, so trading the hard
hat for a elven helm highly enchanted is probably a good plan.

Having said that, I've not ascended a wiz.

(I have a char that probably could ascend, 3500hp, +5-7 armour kit, -128
divine AC. I'm just polypiling to see if I can get +7 gloves of dex)

Mithril is good for the magic cancellation - there isn't much else if you
want to keep the cloak on. (Coranthum is about it)
Anonymous
June 7, 2005 11:04:11 PM

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

Since I play a lot of wizards, especially now that I've got one working
on right now, I wonder exactly how much that fail rate changes with
that Dwarvish Mithril coat, because I was working with a ranger not too
long ago, and I used an Elvish mithril coat...and oops! All spells now
have 100% failure rate, even with maxed skills in them. So I manage to
find a studded leather armor, and most of the skills drop down to about
26% failure, which is a definite improvement. However, I usually go for
Black Dragon Scale Mail, Helm of Brilliance, Gauntlets of Dexterity
(used to use Power, but they caused too much of a pain before) and
Speed Boots.
Anonymous
June 8, 2005 6:11:54 AM

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

I seem to be using the protection racket often, so that extra -9 AC of
protection nearly eliminates the need for metal armor. If you were playing
atheist though, metal armor would be an absolute must, up until about -6 AC
where you can withstand some blows from a soldier ant without being at or
near death. Raising quarterstaff or dagger to skilled or better also will
help in killing things before said things kill you, instead of relying
solely on spells for damage. Gauntlets of power add a nice 6 damage to
physical attacks, so those help a lot regardless of what you hit with. Also
lastly, Magicbane plus robe will let you get away with more metal armor than
usual, with magic resist taken care of by the weapon.

Freyburger" <dfreybur@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1118161546.400403.43220@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> I've played a lot more fighters than spellcasters
> over the years but now I'm playing wizards for a
> while. My history with fighters gives me a bias
> to want every AC point I can get, so I would like
> to ask for some advice from folks withut that bias.
>
> My early wizard has access to dwarvish mithril
> body armor but it interferes with force bolt and
> the couple of other spells he knows. Chaotic
> human male wizard. The game is early enough that
> he hasn't encountered non-metalic armor other than
> cloaks and the initial [oMR is still the best
> encountered. If Sokoban has the "oR maybe that
> will change.
>
> For early wizards is it worth going for every AC
> point, or is it more usefull to stand off and shoot
> force bolt spells? It's still early enough for
> spells to cost hunger so far as I know. I have a
> bunch of assorted daggers and am slowly building up
> my stock of elven. Armor or spells, throwing daggers
> remains an option.
>
> Hold off until more non-metalic armor is available
> or use the dwarvish mithril until something non-metalic
> comes available?
>
> Thanks in advice for opinions.
>
Anonymous
June 9, 2005 5:44:12 AM

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

Doug Freyburger <dfreybur@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Ian Stirling wrote:
>> Raisse the Thaumaturge <raisse@valdyas.org> wrote:
>> > Doug Freyburger wrote:
>>
>
> This sounds like what I'll try. I've been enhancing dagger
> rapidly but the mithril took all of my spells too much
> failure to bother. So I ended up a dagger thrower hunting
> for non-metalic armor. The result is it hasn't offered me
> to enhance any spells yet. Wizards should get offered spell
> enhancements I figure.

They do... if they're casting spells. If you're holding off on them
(using weapons, mostly) it's more likely to offer you upgrades to your
weapon skills.


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
Anonymous
June 9, 2005 4:03:50 PM

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

Keith Davies wrote:
> Doug Freyburger wrote:
>
> > This sounds like what I'll try. I've been enhancing dagger
> > rapidly but the mithril took all of my spells too much
> > failure to bother. So I ended up a dagger thrower hunting
> > for non-metalic armor. The result is it hasn't offered me
> > to enhance any spells yet. Wizards should get offered spell
> > enhancements I figure.
>
> They do... if they're casting spells.

I thought it was successfully casting spells, so when my
wizard put on the mithril and it dropped to 78% failure
rate he stopped trying for a while.

> If you're holding off on them
> (using weapons, mostly) it's more likely to offer you upgrades to your
> weapon skills.

Check. Enhancing dagger to Expert is a great idea for a
wizard. How fast to do that relative to enhancing various
spell schools, that's a judgement call. I haven't played
enough wizard characters to have a good trade-off among
what to enhance when yet. The higher the skill in
dagger, the more are thrown in any one turn. That makes
enhancing dagger a non-linear benefit to dagger throwers.

My current best guess on what to enhance when is dagger
all the way to Expert because early levels come thick and
fast moving down into the mines. Then attack spells as
soon as enough non-metalic armor comes available to ditch
the mithril, then any other spell school.

I don't have any particular plans to enhance any other
skill slot unless/until a main weapon meaner than Magicbane
arrives at a sacfest. I can imagine enhancing sword if
one of the Brands shows up, and then using "x" to use it
in heavy melee. At this point I' don't know if crowning
would get me Stormy or the FoD book. I'll look that up
now and think about Orcrist if Stormy's in the future.
For a chaotic wizard alternating between Stormy and MB
makes poetic sense.
Anonymous
June 9, 2005 4:34:45 PM

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

Doug Freyburger wrote:
> Keith Davies wrote:
>
> > If you're holding off on them
> > (using weapons, mostly) it's more likely to offer you upgrades to your
> > weapon skills.
> ...
> I don't have any particular plans to enhance any other
> skill slot unless/until a main weapon meaner than Magicbane
> arrives at a sacfest. I can imagine enhancing sword if
> one of the Brands shows up, and then using "x" to use it
> in heavy melee. At this point I' don't know if crowning
> would get me Stormy or the FoD book. I'll look that up
> now and think about Orcrist if Stormy's in the future.

I re-read the spoilers on crowning, artifacts and weapons.
Now I'm tempted to wield a pickaxe whenever my chaotic
wizard prays at an altar. There will be enough dagger,
sword and broadsword class artifacts from future sacfests
to handle that, and pickaxe is the only weapons class
other than those I'd be tempted to enhance with a wizard.
Anonymous
June 10, 2005 1:43:00 AM

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

Doug Freyburger <dfreybur@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Keith Davies wrote:
>> Doug Freyburger wrote:
>>
>> > This sounds like what I'll try. I've been enhancing dagger
>> > rapidly but the mithril took all of my spells too much
>> > failure to bother. So I ended up a dagger thrower hunting
>> > for non-metalic armor. The result is it hasn't offered me
>> > to enhance any spells yet. Wizards should get offered spell
>> > enhancements I figure.
>>
>> They do... if they're casting spells.
>
> I thought it was successfully casting spells, so when my
> wizard put on the mithril and it dropped to 78% failure
> rate he stopped trying for a while.

I think there is a component of success in that, yes. That's part of why
casting... detect something, IIRC is a quick route to getting good at
identify, IIRC. Shame it takes so long for force bolt to improve,
though. That could just be my play style; I tend to hold off on using
magic if I can.

Still, if you don't try, you don't succeed, so if you're not casting
spells you're not going to improve at it.


>> If you're holding off on them
>> (using weapons, mostly) it's more likely to offer you upgrades to your
>> weapon skills.
>
> Check. Enhancing dagger to Expert is a great idea for a
> wizard.

Especially since Magicbane is an early (and rather nice) #sac gift.

> How fast to do that relative to enhancing various
> spell schools, that's a judgement call. I haven't played
> enough wizard characters to have a good trade-off among
> what to enhance when yet. The higher the skill in
> dagger, the more are thrown in any one turn. That makes
> enhancing dagger a non-linear benefit to dagger throwers.

Also, I'm pretty sure that if you use an enchanted dagger it goes up
faster (improving weapons is based in part on doing damage with them,
and enchanted hit more often and harder).

If I can get a ?oEnchWeap (or more) I try to get them blessed then
enchant up a stack of daggers, rather than using the quarterstaff.
Makes for greater happiness when I get Magicbane.

> My current best guess on what to enhance when is dagger
> all the way to Expert because early levels come thick and
> fast moving down into the mines. Then attack spells as
> soon as enough non-metalic armor comes available to ditch
> the mithril, then any other spell school.

That's the way I'm playing this game. I've got a nice box full of
spellbooks upstairs (credit cloning in Minetown with a bunch of pets and
a magic whistle... bookstore still owes me money)


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
Anonymous
June 10, 2005 1:44:19 AM

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

Doug Freyburger <dfreybur@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Doug Freyburger wrote:
>> Keith Davies wrote:
>>
>> > If you're holding off on them
>> > (using weapons, mostly) it's more likely to offer you upgrades to your
>> > weapon skills.
>> ...
>> I don't have any particular plans to enhance any other
>> skill slot unless/until a main weapon meaner than Magicbane
>> arrives at a sacfest. I can imagine enhancing sword if
>> one of the Brands shows up, and then using "x" to use it
>> in heavy melee. At this point I' don't know if crowning
>> would get me Stormy or the FoD book. I'll look that up
>> now and think about Orcrist if Stormy's in the future.
>
> I re-read the spoilers on crowning, artifacts and weapons.
> Now I'm tempted to wield a pickaxe whenever my chaotic
> wizard prays at an altar. There will be enough dagger,
> sword and broadsword class artifacts from future sacfests
> to handle that, and pickaxe is the only weapons class
> other than those I'd be tempted to enhance with a wizard.

It's probably the main alternate 'weapon' you're likely to have handy,
yeah. My current game I've got a dagger +3 and a pickaxe, might add a
shield if it doesn't hamper my spellcasting too much. If it does, I'll
dig up that suit of mithril I left somewhere and go melee-style for a
while.


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
!