What do people think are good backgrounds for Humans? Or, alternatively, what logic is there behind the game’s recommendations?
Literally anything is good for humans. I’ve heard that +0 aptitudes is on average better in aggregate than most other races (source: very highly skilled teammate during the last tourney). This makes pretty much any play style viable.
It looks like my one win with humans out of eight is with an AE and I remember thinking the game was pretty easy.
I don’t know about the games recs.
The origin of the current recommendations system comes from commit 3acc3414, which states:
This provides a list of 6-8 (9 for DE) recommended backgrounds for each
species… The lists were developed in a group effort on IRC involving many players.
We tried to balance two main goals when coming up with this list: picking
strong combos and providing some variety of choices.
So Human’s background recs are 1. a short list, 2. that covers different archetypes, and 3. which are (presumably) strong combos. Right now, you have a melee start (Be), “hybrid” start (CA), and 3 mage starts (Cj / Ne / IE). That covers most bases. There aren’t any warrior-mages… but going “pure hybrid” isn’t great b/c of DCSS skilling in general.
Of course, Hu are good in most backgrounds (well, at least they were. they did well before attack of opportunity nerfed all characters).
“+0 aptitudes is on average better in aggregate than most other races” is an odd way of looking at it if you’re not playing completely random combos. On MiBe, what do I care that I have -4 Hexes? (Likewise, I’d rather have GrEE’s +2 Earth and +1 Conj than flat spell apts on a HuEE…)
I think the assumption was that most characters should end up hybridizing at least to some degree. Though obviously not Berserkers, which is why I find it a bit puzzling that that’s their one recommended melee start.
Even as pure casters humans are pretty proficient. They aren’t deep elves, but I was able to play my one and only human win as a pure caster. I got them casting Chain Lightning by lvl 22 (praise Veh) and by the end of the game I was casting Fire Storm and Ignition on a 3 rune run.
+0 really isn’t a handicap at all. It isn’t as easy as some races, but if I wanted to play the most efficient possible I’d just play minotaur warriors and deep elf casters.
I think almost all strength or dex-based strategies humans are strictly inferior to eg minotaurs and merfolk.
With int-based strategies, you have worse aptitudes than the specialist species, but at least you have more hp.
Which is why it makes sense that mostly mage backgrounds get recommended.