Warrior's Guide to Ironman MAngband

Issues, news, and discussion specific to the Ironman variant.
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Warrior
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Warrior's Guide to Ironman MAngband

Post by Warrior » Wed 16.11.2005, 18:13

[updated 28/04/09] - Corrected a few errors, specified a few things, added a few new tips and hints.
[updated 08/08/08] - Added some more details to this guide, tagged some parts as [outdated] (all though relevant) and removed some irrelevant stuff.

Ok, this was written on my work laptop a few days ago, there may be some spelling mistakes and bad English but it should be understandable.

It is still very early in Ironman MAngband history and I'm sure there will be many strategy adjustments added later on, as we discover better ways to survive longer.

But anyway, this is a basic guide that should make your first few runs into the dungeon a bit smoother.

Diving strategy

There are three ways to get anywhere in Ironman MAngband:
  • Dive hard, take every stair as soon as you find it.
    This is the most fun, "whoops, hey I'm lvl 6 at 900ft!"
  • Clean out every level and then take the stairs down.
    This is probably most common and for good reasons, you gain as much experience and gold and items as possible.
  • Clean out every level, log off and come back later to clean it out again when it's reset, this can be repeated forever, only move downstairs when you're way too powerful for your depth.
Method 3 is quite dull and boring and I don't think it'll become very popular, at least not until you've reached the Dwarven Hall, I can imagine method 3 being a bit more useful after you decide to leave the safety of the dungeon town.


Character generation:

If it's your first time playing Ironman, play a half troll, dunadan or high elf warrior, I personally prefer the last two races. The reason for this is of course that you have better stats (not str) and especially your charisma is tons better than with a half troll. This isn't vanilla, Int/Wis/Chr is important here, you don't want your lucky find of a teleport staff to be useless because your intelligence is 5. I personally believe that paladin is the best class for Ironman but they're not as easy to start as a warrior. If you feel like being popular you should try a priest, they're not easy but if you get a priest down to 1000ft everyone will want to party with you from there on, as you can heal other players :)

In Town:

In Ironman MAngband all classes start with a lantern, oil and some rations of food.
In addition to that each class get some class specific items. These are:

Warrior: 5 Potions of Cure Serious Wounds and 10 Scrolls of Teleportation.
Mage: a Book of Magic Spells [Conjurings and Tricks], a Book of Magic Spells [Incantations and Illusions] and 5 Scrolls of Teleportation.
Priest: a Holy Book of Prayers [Words of Wisdom], a Holy Book of Prayers [Chants and Blessings] and 5 Scrolls of Teleportation.
Rogue: a Book of Magic Spells [Conjurings and Tricks] and 10 Scrolls of Teleportation.
Ranger: a Book of Magic Spells [Conjurings and Tricks], a Long Bow and 5 Scrolls of Teleportation.
Paladin: a Holy Book of Prayers [Words of Wisdom] and 5 Scrolls of Teleportation.

Typically the player will start with 100 gold pieces and the first thing you should buy is a weapon. Get a Main Gauche or something else that is cheap, keep your eyes open for discounted objects of all sorts and remember to buy more food and oil if you plan on following a slow descent strategy.

[outdated]
There's still some relevant advise here.
If you're a warrior - sell your armor and sword, buy a dagger and armor that cost less than 10 gold each. Don't waste any money on armor, you'll find stuff in the dungeon and pseudo id works fast. Buy a lantern and make sure you have 10-20 flasks of oil, depending on how fast you plan to descend. If the Phial of Galadriel hasn't been found yet you can hope to get lucky and find that, but thats a tough gamble. Similarly make sure you have at least 10-20 rations of food, depending on what dungeon strategy you chose you might need lots more. Sell the torches. Buy 1 or 2 identify scrolls, if they're on sale, buy twice as many, most important are phase door scrolls and teleport scrolls, as far as I know there has only been one modification to the shops in Ironman and that is the alchemy selling teleport scrolls. You will want as many phase doors and teleport scrolls as possible, maybe twice as many phase doors as teleports, all depending on how much cash you have. I usually sell my berserk strength potion too, you may want to buy a cure serious wounds instead. You should also buy at least 30 arrows, more if you can afford.

In the dungeon:

Alright, 50, 100, 150ft, never mind, kill a few monsters to get up to lvl 3-4 and head for 200-250-300, pick up all the stuff you find, especially armor and weapons, scrolls and potions are usually crap at this level. Let the pseudo work for you, destroy or drop everything you're not putting on, maybe except armors that are just marginally worse than what you're wearing, you might want to change after being splashed with acid. As for weapons, go for multiple blows, a {good} lance is not necessarily better than your dagger, it might be +1,+0. Plus it might slow you down. However if you find an {excellent} weapon you should probably use it anyway, it might be some crap slay undead broad axe but an excellent usually has good enough +'s to make it worth it. If you have an id you can read that if you want to, but I recommend saving the id's until you get a little deeper and have to chose between two excellents for example.

[new quickstart tip April 2009]
As a warrior I will typically gain 1, maybe 2 levels during the first 2-3-400 ft, generally avoiding monsters, as this will allow me to get more experience for tougher monsters later. Then I proceed to 450-550 to level up to level 10-15 or so and then typically make another stop at 650-700 before I quite quickly move down to 850-950 where I stay until my supplies are getting too low to continue. Your timing here is different, move down too slowly and you'll die at 950 with a backpack full of excellents but without teleport or healing pots.


There are a few items in the dungeon that you have to decide how to deal with, (because of the lack of identify sources you'll need to use the object)

they are:
  • Mushrooms:
    Very very tricky things to deal with. There are 10 negative mushrooms and you should probably not eat any of them, unless your stats are already lowered so much it doesn't matter. But thats complicated, better to just stay away, throw them at monsters until you've found disease and unhealth. You can eventually - later, if you find rings of stat sustain, try to eat some.
  • Potions:
    You may want to inscribe them with the depth you found them, so you can identify which are more likely to be utter crap. There are 15/16 negative potions, although some of them are only found deep in the dungeon. Another problem with potions is that many of them only work if you're in a certain condition. Maybe as many as half the potions you find <1000ft are negative. It's a tricky thing, should you quaff or not? Well, I'd suggest - quaff them, but try to wait as long as possible, not when you're level 3 - and quaff them when you're injured, poisoned, confused whatever, but not in serious battle if you can avoid it, since it might be the touch of death.
  • Scrolls:
    Read scrolls when you're on the > and preferably on a level you've already mapped out completely and cleared. This is because it might be a teleport scroll and it might be a summon monster/undead scroll. You should also take off your weapon and your armor if you can, since it might be curse weapon/armor. You should also search after you read it, since it can be create traps. You should read them close to a trap or a door if possible. But - in general you shouldn't worry so much about scrolls as you do with potions, there are only seven negative scrolls and they're not all that bad as long as you're on the stairs. But remember! Take off your weapon and your armor!
  • Wands:
    There are only three negative wands, heal monster, haste monster and clone monster (which can be positive) You'll want to try out wands preferably by standing on the stairs aiming at a mold or jelly or similar, if it doesn't do anything it is probably disarming or trap/door destruction.
  • Staffs:
    Staffs aren't all that hard to deal with, there are only four negative staffs, darkness (which can be very positive), summoning, haste monsters and slowness, try them out on a >, preferably also near a mold or jelly and, thats it. Inscribe the staff in a way that tells you that it's not summon monster or negative in other way, then keep trying it around in the dungeon, if it doesn't affect a monster it's probably some kind of detection or healing staff (clw/remove curse)
  • Rods:
    There are no negative rods, try them on a mold or a door or on a new level, it's detection of some kind if it doesn't affect you or a monster.
  • Rings:
    Another tricky one, there are 5 cursed rings and especially teleportation, aggravate monster and woe can severely mutilate your character. You should not try on any rings until you've identified them. As with potions you may want to inscribe rings with their depth, if you find several, inscribe them with the depth you found the first one. Out of the 7 rings found with base depth 250ft, 4 are cursed.
  • Amulets:
    Unless your name is Jug you're not gonna put on an amulet that you haven't identified! It'll be teleportation and that is no fun ;D It can also be an amulet of Doom though I doubt you'll ever find one in Ironman MAngband. However, if you find an amulet you may want to spend an id on it, because if it IS teleportation you'll have an item to uncurse if you find a scroll/staff with remove curse and it will also allow you to put on all other amulets relatively safely.
You should at all times and at almost any cost pick up rations of food, elvish waybread and oil/lanterns and maybe even torches that you find, you should drop most items that you can't use, except very valuable items, in case you should be lucky enough to get to the dungeon town where you can sell it. Check the spoilers to see an objects base value, it's a very expensive mistake to carry a ring of protection around instead of a deep book of magic.

Other general ideas might be to party with other players, this could make the game a lot easier, a party with a couple of warriors and a mage/priest/paladin would probably be quite powerful and should be able to get to the Dwarven Hall without any big problems. I think it might be enough with only one warrior and one mage/priest/paladin. The spellcaster is mostly for detecting stairs down.

[new tip, April 2009]
If you're a strong warrior or a weak mage you should never quaff unidentified potions or eat unidentified mushrooms, if your strength (or dexterity) gets lowered you'll typically lose a very very valuable blow pr round as a warrior and as a mage it might be the death blow, where you'll just end up unable to carry around anything at all because you're too weak. For most other classes (and of course, if you're a half troll with sustain str) it's not that big a deal if you quaff pots. But worth it or not? Thats up to you to decide. It's rarely a complete disaster and it's by far better to quaff a lot of negative pots unidentified on your way to the town at 1000ft than to do it on your way down to 2000ft. Keep that in mind.

Player Killing
[outdated]
There is no more player killing now so this is outdated.

If you do not want to party, you may want to kill the other players instead :)
I don't imagine player killing will be very common but if it does I think there might be created parties, or well, a mob I guess: "Lets lynch the killer!"
You might want to keep an eye on the online ladder that tells you how deep the other players are, dive past them, or just wait on a deeper level and then stand by the stairs ready to kill them, you may want to stand at a distance with bolts or other ranged attacks, to get an edge if you're about the same level. This is cruel but it's realistic. Not like on other servers where level 50 characters just kill anyone they feel like killing. Since the poor victim has no way to get out of the situation, besides phase door or teleport there will usually be a fight till death. And even if he does have a phase or teleport and manages to reach the stairs, you can still just follow him down. ;D


Good luck all :)

- Warrior

(Zaphod/Diver/Ironman/Tyrant and some other nicks long gone).
-- Mangband Project Team Member

rob
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Re: Warrior's Guide to Ironman MAngband

Post by rob » Fri 25.11.2005, 18:51

Just some personal thoughts.

Whip is a better starting weapon than dagger.

Having highish AC early on is wise if you can afford it; at least if you intend to beat up Smeagol without him stealing your stuff and teleporting away.

Town shops reset regularly, every few minutes.  You can scum town for good discounted items.  Worth keeping an eye out for cheap teleport scrolls, cheap healing potions, cheap spellbooks if you are a caster (sell your starting one and you can make a profit)

Don't go it alone if you don't have to, especially if you are a young mage or priest.  Stick to the warrior/paladin like glue.  At higher levels, warriors rely more on the casters who know where the monsters, traps, doors etc are, and can identify unknown items.  Although this might sound a little greedy, hanging around new adventurers is occasionally a good way to end up with extra oil, food etc when they perish.  Its called recycling, don't be afraid to use X-dead-characters phial, Longsword of Mass Destruction etc if it becomes available.
Adventuring as:

Dyna usually. Also (the) Cardinal, Bretlocus and (the) Professor

Warrior
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Re: Warrior's Guide to Ironman MAngband

Post by Warrior » Fri 08.08.2008, 18:34

Updated this guide a little today. Will keep improving it until it's PERFECT!
:)
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nubnub
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Re: Warrior's Guide to Ironman MAngband

Post by nubnub » Sat 16.08.2008, 01:34

What's the Dwarven Hall?

Are there any town levels in the dungeon?

Warrior
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Re: Warrior's Guide to Ironman MAngband

Post by Warrior » Sat 16.08.2008, 07:14

Correct. There are towns every 1000ft.
-- Mangband Project Team Member

nubnub
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Re: Warrior's Guide to Ironman MAngband

Post by nubnub » Sun 17.08.2008, 01:55

Thanks. I'm going to try and press my way to one. I'm on 950ft, but I don't know if I'll make it. :I

I made it, and this has got to be the coolest thing in this game. The town at 1000ft is so... Alien.

Warrior
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Re: Warrior's Guide to Ironman MAngband

Post by Warrior » Tue 28.04.2009, 10:51

Added a few more comments and tips here today. Guide is obviously open to suggestions for improvements.
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PowerWyrm
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Re: Warrior's Guide to Ironman MAngband

Post by PowerWyrm » Tue 30.10.2012, 22:14

Warrior wrote: Diving strategy

There are three ways to get anywhere in Ironman MAngband:
  • Dive hard, take every stair as soon as you find it.
    This is the most fun, "whoops, hey I'm lvl 6 at 900ft!"
  • Clean out every level and then take the stairs down.
    This is probably most common and for good reasons, you gain as much experience and gold and items as possible.
  • Clean out every level, log off and come back later to clean it out again when it's reset, this can be repeated forever, only move downstairs when you're way too powerful for your depth.
Method 3 is quite dull and boring and I don't think it'll become very popular, at least not until you've reached the Dwarven Hall, I can imagine method 3 being a bit more useful after you decide to leave the safety of the dungeon town.
Method 3 is now out of question: when you regenerate an unstaticed level, it is always generated with rating = 0, which means an almost empty level with nothing but junk. The best way now is probably to apply a mix of methods 2 and 3: take down stairs, with autoscum you should get a decent rating, explore the level completely, and log off once there's nothing left to explore; let the level reset, log back and take the first down stairs you see, and repeat...

Thorbear
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Re: Warrior's Guide to Ironman MAngband

Post by Thorbear » Wed 06.03.2013, 07:06

Zaxx wrote:Method 3 is now out of question: when you regenerate an unstaticed level, it is always generated with rating = 0, which means an almost empty level with nothing but junk. The best way now is probably to apply a mix of methods 2 and 3: take down stairs, with autoscum you should get a decent rating, explore the level completely, and log off once there's nothing left to explore; let the level reset, log back and take the first down stairs you see, and repeat...
I'm curious, why would you wait for the level to reset if you're going to take the first down stairs anyway?
I am Thorbear...

PowerWyrm
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Re: Warrior's Guide to Ironman MAngband

Post by PowerWyrm » Wed 06.03.2013, 12:36

No idea. I had probably in mind that you don't play 24/7 and need to take breaks sometimes.

Billsey
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Re: Warrior's Guide to Ironman MAngband

Post by Billsey » Wed 10.04.2013, 20:37

I'm thinking he left out the 'clear the level again after the reset' just before the 'take the first down stairs you see' part.
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PowerWyrm
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Re: Warrior's Guide to Ironman MAngband

Post by PowerWyrm » Thu 11.04.2013, 11:19

PowerWyrm wrote:No idea. I had probably in mind that you don't play 24/7 and need to take breaks sometimes.
Exactly that in fact. When playing, you explore all levels, taking stairs down to generate new levels with auto-scum on and hope for a "good" or "excellent" feeling. When you need to take a break, you don't want to do that on a fresh level because you would lose whatever goodies are on it... and moreover, if the level resets, you will come back on a garbage level (auto-scum off). So you explore the level, log off, come back and take the first stairs to the next level.

Domiano
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Re: Warrior's Guide to Ironman MAngband

Post by Domiano » Fri 12.04.2013, 12:17

IMO, the new-gen'd lvl should not JUST be 'auto-skum off' but actively given zero level power, so no monsters/items/vaults...

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Re: Warrior's Guide to Ironman MAngband

Post by Emulord » Fri 12.04.2013, 18:26

I used to *manually* light entire levels and leave mages with satisfy hunger on a level for hours killing level spawns. Id gather so much loot I could sell to players passing through. I think this strategy is stupid enough we don't need to actively discourage it.

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