Any primers for consumable economics?

Anyone have a link to an article, forum/reddit comment, or anything that you’d consider a primer on the economics of consumables/resources in crawl?

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It’s quite outdated, but still reliable, imho:

There are videos on scrolls, potions and invocables in the playlist. I hope it will help.

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Die Broke

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The single most important thing that increased my winrate dramatically was using consumables early to ensure that I would not die.
Think of it this way. As the game goes on MOST consumables actually fall off and become less valuable, blinking scrolls excluded they often become MORE valuable. So if you wait to use that might potion to kill that ogre, by the end of the game your gonna have like 8 might potions, and your not gonna bother drinking them.

The core skill of DCSS is threat harassment. You only learn this by playing lots of games. At some point you come to find that consumables almost entirely negate “Is this thing dangerous, or more correctly can I kill it” From Grinder on D:3 to TRJ.

So if your a merfolk, and you find a gnoll pack on D:2 wielding a +3 halberd of venom, and you have a single beserk potion and a cure wounds ID. Go for it. The weapon will pay dividends. Heck I honestly think almost any character would take that deal of zerk + cure for a +3 halberd of venom.

At the end of the day, you will learn MUCH MUCH faster what you should and shouldn’t use consumables for if you use them TOO much, and find that “O I could really use X/Y/Z here but I ran out” than never using them and dieing with a stack of them that could have been converted to power(xp/gear) and made it so you lived.

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“die broke”, as aaron says. If you’ve come to DCSS from games where you can quicksave everywhere and never use a consumable (after all, there might be an even bigger radioactive spider around the next corner, and if this encounter doesn’t work out you can quickload) you need to break that habit. There’s no prizes for taking them with you to the grave.

But then you’re trying to use the right consumables, not just in terms of what will make a given fight easier, but also in terms of the supply - if a scroll of blinking or teleportation will fix my problem, I’ll use the latter, because I get more of them. Heal wounds will fix most problems, but then you don’t have any heal wounds and you die to a problem you really want them for.

The third part is threat assessment. A lot of consumables work better if you use them early - quaffing a might with full HP is great, with 10% HP is a desperate move - but also while it’s better to die broke than die rich, the idea is not to die at all and recognising which fights you can squeeze through without using consumables, saving them for the worst crises, is important.

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The third part is threat assessment. A lot of consumables work better if you use them early - quaffing a might with full HP is great, with 10% HP is a desperate move - but also while it’s better to die broke than die rich, the idea is not to die at all and recognising which fights you can squeeze through without using consumables, saving them for the worst crises, is important.

To me, the important part of this is that to improve your threat assessment, you have to get to those later threats. There are plenty of sources for help to draw upon - including this forum - but sometimes experience is the best teacher, and to learn that a potion of heal wounds will definitely help you against a gnoll and probably won’t help much against a frost giant, you have to be able to get to the frost giant. When folks are just learning, I like the idea of using consumables as early as possible to learn what they do and to help them stay alive longer.

Another part of that is what you mentioned about folks coming from other games - there are plenty of turn-based games (and some action games as well) where you can stop time, do all the healing/gear changes/etc you need, and then start playing again. DCSS is not that kind of game. It’s not enough to learn that the HP you get from heal wounds isn’t enough to absorb a frost giant shot if you’re not otherwise prepared for it; you also have to learn that if you sit and drink three potions to heal, the creatures around you will be more than happy to whack away while you stand there among them. (I have learned that lesson on multiple occasions! Or actually … I haven’t learned it well enough yet :laughing: I still die like that on occasion.)

One way to learn about consumable use is to spectate really good players. I was watching a top player (don’t remember who, ediT: nm, it was dilly) but seeing them use TP scrolls literally all the time made me reevaluate the risk reward of that consumable and I now use them a lot more to reset fights than I used to.

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