Tales of the Hell/Hell Stealth Hunt - by Cyrene(AMZ)
After my last Hell Diff failure, and after much valuable input from some of the regulars here, I resolved to change some of my stealth hunt tactics. Instead of relying on blocking and avoidance, I went with clearing a "tunnel" through the darkness. Bow, low ac, resists, and proactive firepower. I spent clvls 35-40 assembling a set of gear, shrine hunting its durability up where needed, and doing a little play testing at various levels.
Config: Obs Cap of Precision (AC2, but who cares) Dur 60, Nightscape Dur 52, Eaglehorn, Ring Dark, Drag Zod Amulet, Obs Heavens ring.
Stats: AC 83, To Hit 261, Dam 83-105, 57% resist all. 231 Hit points, 258 mana.
In other words, enough to-hit and damage to rip almost any monster, but if something got to me it was going to be a 2-hit fight (they hit me, I hit the ground). The low mana meant relying on spells was out except for emergencies, and that MS would have to be watched closely.
Loaded up on Blues, hotkeyed Teleport, SC, MS (I dont want to hear about it), and TP (as a flashlight). No guardian or golem due to monster activations.
My planned tactics were 1) determine a line of advance, preferably by a wall, 2) fire directly down that line of advance until all monsters down it were killed, 3) repeat for adjacent line of squares, as needed, determined by dungeon layout, 4) advance precisely down the original line of squares cleared until next turn, 5) repeat. This isnt nearly as methodical or time-consuming in practice as it sounds on paper, and you can take a lot of short cuts.
A couple of more notes on this procedure. A) You HAVE to be able to stun what you hit and you HAVE to continue to hit it, or you are doomed. This is a purely shift key approach. Snakes are trouble. They dont stun well and advance on the diagonal out of the dark. I heartily recommend a) stopping fire as soon as you hear the hiss of a hit, b) waiting until it hits your light radius, stone, kill, c) repeat with the next hiss of the snake inevitably activated by that one overshot arrow when the last one died, d) burning an infravision and/or getting the hell off the level as soon as possible. Barlogs can cause some headaches too, but if you can do enough damage you can lock them up before they get their dance going. In either case (or if you rile up some dogs), if you overactivate it is worth the risk to do a blind hop into the darkness to lose the mob and de-activate the monsters, just be ready to do the mage hop if your luck is bad on the first one. Advocates will return fire when activated regardless of range or LR, so watch the stray arrows on their levels, but witch AI at -80LR makes them virtually harmless. Stay awake on ANY level where hidden types are possible!
The whole run went very smoothly, with a lot of great stair placements, so Ill just add a couple of notes on the interesting levels.
Dlvl 5. Eldritch Shrine! Whoohoo! Nothing like an Eldritch when all you are carrying is blue pots. I thought it was rather pointless since I was running full blue, but it saved my life in the end.
Dlvl 6. 4 Scrolls of infravision on one level, all in one library. PRNG, I LOVE ya man! I knew then that all that would stop me was operator error.
Dlvl 7. Stairs in direct opposite diagonal corners, and Stalkers. A nasty combo. This level took as long as the entire first 6 together, and I was very glad to get off it.
Dlvls 9-12. Theme night. 9 is mostly dogs (careful!), 10 is ALL rhinos (easy), 11 is mostly snakes (eek! Burned an infravision)
Dlvls 13-16. Good stairs on 13, infravision for the rest made them a piece of cake. Laz dropped (drumroll please) a book of lightening! I was feeling so confident on 16 that, after clearing out all the way around both bottom rooms, I went and hunted down Sir G just for the heck of it (he dropped a Gnarled Root, too).
The Trouble: TKd the switches, sent a HB invitation to Big D for a debate on good vs evil, set up where arrow misses wouldnt fly into Ds room and activate any gate-crashers, put my back to the wall, and HBd a follow-up note to D that the location of the debate had changed, but I was eager to join. In the next 10-20 seconds a confident, smiling player turned into a sweating, frantically clicking player. I really thought that I had enough damage to stun-lock D and put him out of his pointy-shouldered misery. What I had was enough damage to animation-lock him, which was fine, until I miss (automiss?), wherein WHAM went the Apoc, POOF went a bowl of mana, and now D had the tactical initiative. And so it went-Id get 3-5 quick hits in on him, then hed get a couple of Apocs in on me, then Id get an arrow off and get a few more hits in. Meanwhile, the inventory screen is open and pots are disappearing at an alarming rate. A very humbling experience for a character who routinely KICKS Diablo to death in Hell/Hell (with 200 more AC, of course). Anyway, those silly full rejuvs from the Eldritch save my life as I start letting BOTH mana and life take hits before taking a pot. Finally, with all pots gone, mana shield blown and red to the dregs, the game freezes and the death animation starts. Whew. When I restarted, I had 32 life left....
Heheh. Better lucky than good.
retires from solo Stealth Hunts for a while, but would be interested in
some group ones with others.
Ill also want to check my damage with a needler for Big D.....
Posted on Feb 04 1999