RotMG: Oops #1 – Snakes in a Pit

You just KNEW that was coming after I quaffed those 2 speed potions, eh?

In the vein of all Roguelikes, Realm of the Mad God celebrates YASD, Yet Another Stupid Death, with a big summary screen of all your exploits before you bite the big one, as well as the mistake and the mob that got you.

I’m nowhere near the leaderboards of dead characters, whose fame runs in the tens of thousands. But frankly, I’m relieved not to have one of those to lose yet. Losing those would probably hurt quite a bit. This guy? I can treat as just a throwaway, marked for inevitable death.

On the bright side, I did get some more Gods dead before that death, yielding 1 more defence, and an Oryx run, which yielded 1 attack and 1 defense and all that was safely ensconced into the belly of the archer recipient.

Then I dived into the Snake Pit dungeon on a whim, started musing on a blog post I was going to write about the pit, got more and more forward when I should have been playing safe, and dug myself into a corner literally. One long tunnel with nowhere to run out, and two greater pit vipers decided to camp the entrance with a hail of bullets before I could dig the exit hole.

Sighs. Next time, we will -try- not to panic and dig some shelter down, or dig out, anything but running towards certain death trying to kill it. Didn’t work.

I do have some screens from the last time I went into Snake Pit with a little more success… So we will use those instead to illustrate the fiendishness of this dungeon.

The Snake Pit is entered through a portal entrance dropped by various Lesser Gods, Ghost Kings, Ogre Kings and Liches.

You can always exit from the entrance, with the amusingly named Portal of Cowardice, or just decide to Nexus out. (Which I really should have done when cornered, but my brain froze and I didn’t react appropriately in time. Pretty much the cause of all RotMG deaths…)

Rooms are circular, and joined to each other by these filled in tunnels. You dig them out with bullets. Normally I dig a two or three square wide tunnel, and often skew it in the middle to provide a sheltering wall. (But obviously NOT in the case where I died. I went for one square, trying to be fast, and got caught out badly. *grumbles*)

You see, in most dungeons that I’ve tried so far, you can take your time when you’re solo and clear out room by room. You push for speed when you’re very comfortable with the place, statted out enough to do so, and want to go for maximum efficiency getting to the end boss and end reward.  But you CAN take your time and wait for all your hp to regen back before moving to the next room, it’ll still get you there, etc.

But Snake Pit has a design that tangles up this philosophy of slow and steady.

In these rooms with grates, the tiny snakes keep respawning. You will -never- clear the room permanently. If you shoot fast and deadly enough, you might gain a couple seconds breather, but then the snakes come back.

Now they do about 10-20 a shot. If you’ve got defence over 20, then they simply do 2-3 damage (I think) and are a fairly ignorable threat. If you are like my farming wizard and only have 9 defence, then they can do up to 11 hp a shot and a little less laughably ignored.

So there’s this weird back and forth balance you try to manage. Back enough not to get blown apart, forward enough to shoot them up, and forward enough to push into the next room, or you’re never going to get anywhere.

One of the tricks is to just push ahead and run around in a big circle in the room, shooting down enough snakes to create enough breathing room to dig into the next room…

Except there are bigger snakes.

And the bigger snakes hurt. So you run back away from them… into the smaller snakes, which shoot you, and forward into the bigger snakes to shoot them while not getting shot (thankfully, the big snakes can be killed and not respawn) and all the while trying to make it into the next room.

Which will hopefully get you closer to the end boss, Stheno the Snake Queen, assuming you didn’t guess the direction wrong and take a wrong turn and dead end somewhere.

If you’re lucky or good enough, you’ll get past a chain of snake rooms into a room with no grates, in which case you can have a slight breather once the room is cleared. But watch out for the neighboring rooms’ tiny snakes, who -will- eventually wander their way into your room to harass you.

And then you reach the dungeon boss Stheno. My still picture looks very calm, but trust me, it’s not. She has a number of fast circling snake guardians (one of whom you can see in the picture) making it most inconvenient to stay within a good firing range of her.

She has a number of phases and is only vulnerable during certain periods, which are often the most dangerous and hectic to get up close. Diagonal dagger spam, spawning of snake mobs, and an AoE bomb attack. Personally I’m still trying to learn and get comfortable with her phases, so I can’t say much beyond that. There are some walls at far away range to hide behind and regain hp, so there’s that at least. You can patiently wear her down while trying to get used to her phases, and she drops a speed potion (plus some rarer drops if you’re lucky.)

Well, in the second case, I never even got there. New farming wizard, here we come.

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