Basement Diving Guide

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For Loathers wanting to do a basement dive to upgrade their telescopes (or for other reasons), this article aims to provide strategies for doing so efficiently. While the focus will be on reaching floor 500, the strategies will also be applicable for those who want to go deeper.

Fernswarthy's Basement consists of several different types of challenges, which get more and more difficult the deeper into the basement one goes. Every fifth level is a reward (usually a stat reward, whose magnitude scales to your main stat).

Overview

Fernswarthy's basement contains monsters to fight, stat tests, damage tests (physical and elemental), and MP draining tests. Difficulty progresses exponentially as a function of your depth in the basement. All the challenges follow the basic formula:

StatRequired = Depth1.4

There is typically some variance in the exact requirements, but this formula gives a rough approximation.

Buffing

Getting your stats up to Depth1.4 (or in some cases a bit higher) will usually require several effects.

The first and most important effect is the equalizer. There are three different equalizers, one for each stat:

  • oil of stability -- equalizes everything to Muscle -- calculates percentage Moxie/Mysticality boosts using your black Muscle stat instead of Moxie/Myst
  • oil of expertise -- equalizes everything to Mysticality
  • oil of slipperiness -- equalizes everything to Moxie

Once you're past the early basement levels, you should be using an equalizer all the time. This means that you don't need to raise offstats at all (except to meet equipment requirements) -- your ability to progress will depend only on your main stat.

The Maximizing pages (Muscle, Myst, Moxie) have comprehensive lists of the available effects, but they are not presented in an economically efficient order, nor with indications of which effects are limited (X times per day, or Y fullness, or Z spleen).

The affordable, unlimited potion- and skill-based buffs include:

Some other powerful but pricier buffs are:

Saucerors may use vials of slime (from the Nemesis quest) as well:

  • 200% Tertiary color slime potions
  • 100% Secondary color slime potions
  • 50% Primary color slime potions

Limited buffs:

Outfits

In addition to buffs, you can get huge stat-buffing boosts from your equipment. It is well worth the time required to set up some custom outfits specifically for basement diving.

Some players make more basement-diving custom outfits than others. A reasonable starting point is to make 7 outfits: Muscle, Mysticality, Moxie, Elemental resistance, HP, MP and Combat. Players who lack major elemental resistance gear may choose to make specific elemental resistance outfits for each test (e.g. one for the Hot/Spooky test, another for the Cold/Sleaze test, and so on) rather than a single generic elemental resistance outfit. Some players may also choose to make a Damage absorption outfit for the Gauntlet test (if they lack the Tao of the Terrapin skill for example).

The Maximizing pages (Muscle, Myst, Moxie, Elemental Resistance, HP, MP) will give you comprehensive lists of the equipment choices for each slot, so that you can construct your outfits depending on what you have available.

If you lack most of the great equipment on those pages (in particular, the Slimesuit), you might consider delaying your basement dive until you've had the chance to gather some of it.

Combat Challenges

Monster Level in the basement scales as twice the basement level (Depth) to the 1.4th power. That is,

ML = 2 * ceil(Depth1.4)
Defense = ceil(ML*.9)
HP = ceil(ML*.85)

Because of how quickly ML (and hence monster defense) scales, and how Hit Chance is calculated, it will eventually be impossible to hit with a "normal" weapon attack. This includes attack skills like Thrust-Smack (normally). By Depth 300, a character will need almost 5900 attack strength to hit the monsters. The story gets worse, because monster defense also absorbs damage due to Muscle. Fortunately, there are ways to beat the monsters without out-statting them.

Note that combat with basement monsters can last up to 50 rounds, rather than the usual 30.

Monsters have 70% Combat Initiative unless otherwise stated.

Encounters

Monster Notes
Earbeast.gif
The Beast with X Ears
 
Eyebeast.gif
The Beast with X Eyes
  • ∞ initiative.
Stonegolem.gif
X Stone Golem
Hydra.gif
X-headed Hydra
Fernghost.gif
The Ghost of Fernswarthy's Grandfather
Beergolem.gif
X Bottles of Beer on a Golem
  • Blocks a high percentage of spells.
Dimhorror.gif
X-dimensional horror

Strategy

If you've been working over a run with Lunging Thrust-Smack or Shieldbutt, you can basically keep doing whatever you're doing up to a point, but as the monsters go past a few thousand ML at higher levels, here are a few strategies to deal thousands of damage even when your stats are much lower than the monster's.

The main idea is, be the David to their Goliath. Don't try to out-stat the monsters.

General tips
Spells
Combat items
  • None of the monsters block combat items (which is kind of sad), so this works on everything.
  • Party favors deal damage equal to buffed mainstat, for all three stats.
  • Love songs deal damage equal to buffed mainstat, for all three stats. Additionally, some do elemental damage.
  • Ambidextrous Funkslinging makes combat items even more efficient. It allows stunlock and damage at the same time.
  • The V for Vivala mask increases combat item damage by 50%. The skills Deft Hands and Mathematical Precision increase combat item damage by 25% (passive) and 50% (10 MP/20 turn buff) respectively.
  • Shrinking powder cuts a monster's current HP in half.
  • Shards of double-ice deal cold damage equal to your highest buffed stat, stun monsters for 1 round, and makes them cold-aligned for the rest of the combat.
Birdform
  • Birdform grants various skills that scale well with buffed stats.
  • Vicious Talon Slash does Muscle-based physical damage, and always hits. Only the Ghost can cause a problem.
  • The various other skills do Mysticality-based elemental damage. However, they require use of certain items before combat, and don't scale as high as Vicious Talon Slash. See Form of...Bird! for more details. The strongest of these is The Statue Treatment.
  • Warning: Birdform prevents the use of other skills and combat items. This means no stunning, and the only way to heal is to use Feast on Carrion. Survival, then, is based on Maximizing Your HP and Maximizing Your Damage Absorption.

Elemental Challenges

There are five different Elemental Resistance challenges, which test two elements at once. The same amount of damage is done in both elements; failure results if HP is reduced to 0. As with the combat challenges, the damage scales with basement level:

 Elt = 4.48 × Depth1.4 + 8

To repeat, the above damage is applied using both elements of the test, so the total raw damage is twice the calculated value. Additionally, there appears to be about a 5% variation in the equation, so having exactly enough HP and resistance to match the calculation does not guarantee the test will be passed. This also means that it is possible to pass the tests with fewer HP than implied by the equation.

If you are truly struggling with elemental resistance, you can use phials made from elemental clusters (e.g. phial of coldness). These force elemental damage rules to be followed, so that one of the two prongs (the elemental forms cannot stack) of each test can be reduced to one point of damage, effectively cutting total damage in half. However, care must be taken to choose the form which won't double the damage received from the other prong.

Damage Absorption has no effect on these challenges.

Encounters

Elemental Test Elements Optional Elemental Form
Coldmarg.gif
Singled Out
cold and sleaze Coldform (phial of coldness)
Fratbong.gif
Peace, Bra!
sleaze and stench Sleazeform (phial of sleaziness)
Onnastick.gif
Still Better Than Pistachio
stench and hot Stenchform (phial of stench)
Document.gif
Unholy Writes
hot and spooky Hotform (phial of hotness)
Snowballbat.gif
The Unthawed
spooky and cold Spookyform (phial of spookiness)

Strategy

Elemental Resistance levels decrease damage by a percent of the raw damage, but more levels asymptotically increase the percentage to 90%.

Mysticality classes have an extra 5% resistance added to their effective elemental resistance (for example, turning 85% to 90%), and at the same high elemental resistance levels (25+, or 88.91%), they take nearly 50% less damage than other classes take.

Phials became very expensive due to a game change in July, 2013. Consider using a good elemental resistance outfit (and buffs) instead. The Exotic Parrot also helps.

In order to pass these tests a basement diver may wish to maximize their effective HP. Effective HP is the amount of unreduced elemental damage it would take to reduce a player to 0 HP. Effective HP is found by the formula: EHP = HP/(1-resistance percentage). HP in this formula is the player's current HP including any bonuses from equipment, buffs, etc. A player can raise their EHP in two ways: HP Modifiers and modifiers to Elemental Resistance levels. As the resistance level gets higher extra resistance becomes less useful. As HP gets higher extra resistance becomes more useful.

Res Level 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Res % 78.4 80.3 81.9 83.3 84.4 85.3 86.1 86.8 87.3 87.7 88.1 88.4 88.7 88.9 89.1 89.2 89.4 89.5
HP EHP
2000 9247 10157 11065 11955 12814 13630 14394 15100 15743 16322 16838 17293 17693 18039 18339 18596 18817 19004
2250 10403 11427 12448 13449 14416 15334 16194 16987 17710 18362 18943 19455 19904 20294 20631 20921 21169 21379
2500 11559 12697 13831 14944 16018 17038 17993 18875 19678 20402 21047 21617 22116 22549 22924 23246 23521 23755
2750 12715 13966 15214 16438 17619 18742 19792 20762 21646 22442 23152 23779 24327 24804 25216 25570 25873 26130
3000 13871 15236 16597 17933 19221 20445 21592 22650 23614 24482 25257 25940 26539 27059 27509 27895 28225 28506
3250 15027 16506 17980 19427 20823 22149 23391 24537 25582 26523 27361 28102 28750 29314 29801 30219 30577 30881
3500 16182 17775 19363 20921 22425 23853 25190 26425 27550 28563 29466 30264 30962 31569 32093 32544 32929 33257
3750 17338 19045 20747 22416 24026 25557 26989 28312 29517 30603 31571 32425 33174 33824 34386 34868 35281 35632
4000 18494 20315 22130 23910 25628 27261 28789 30199 31485 32643 33676 34587 35385 36079 36678 37193 37633 38008
4250 19650 21584 23513 25404 27230 28964 30588 32087 33453 34684 35780 36749 37597 38334 38970 39517 39985 40383
4500 20806 22854 24896 26899 28832 30668 32387 33974 35421 36724 37885 38910 39808 40589 41263 41842 42337 42759
4750 21962 24124 26279 28393 30433 32372 34187 35862 37389 38764 39990 41072 42020 42844 43555 44167 44689 45134
5000 23118 25393 27662 29888 32035 34076 35986 37749 39356 40804 42094 43234 44231 45099 45848 46491 47041 47510
5250 24274 26663 29045 31382 33637 35780 37785 39637 41324 42844 44199 45395 46443 47353 48140 48816 49393 49885
5500 25430 27932 30428 32876 35239 37483 39584 41524 43292 44885 46304 47557 48654 49608 50432 51140 51745 52261
5750 26585 29202 31811 34371 36840 39187 41384 43412 45260 46925 48409 49719 50866 51863 52725 53465 54098 54636
6000 27741 30472 33195 35865 38442 40891 43183 45299 47228 48965 50513 51880 53078 54118 55017 55789 56450 57012
6250 28897 31741 34578 37359 40044 42595 44982 47187 49196 51005 52618 54042 55289 56373 57309 58114 58802 59387
6500 30053 33011 35961 38854 41646 44298 46782 49074 51163 53045 54723 56204 57501 58628 59602 60438 61154 61763
6750 31209 34281 37344 40348 43248 46002 48581 50962 53131 55086 56828 58366 59712 60883 61894 62763 63506 64138
7000 32365 35550 38727 41843 44849 47706 50380 52849 55099 57126 58932 60527 61924 63138 64187 65088 65858 66514
7250 33521 36820 40110 43337 46451 49410 52180 54737 57067 59166 61037 62689 64135 65393 66479 67412 68210 68889
7500 34677 38090 41493 44831 48053 51114 53979 56624 59035 61206 63142 64851 66347 67648 68771 69737 70562 71265
7750 35833 39359 42876 46326 49655 52817 55778 58511 61003 63246 65246 67012 68559 69903 71064 72061 72914 73640
8000 36988 40629 44259 47820 51256 54521 57577 60399 62970 65287 67351 69174 70770 72158 73356 74386 75266 76016
9000 41612 45708 49792 53798 57663 61336 64775 67949 70842 73447 75770 77821 79616 81177 82526 83684 84674 85518
10000 46236 50786 55324 59775 64070 68151 71972 75499 78713 81608 84189 86467 88463 90197 91695 92982 94083 95020
11000 50859 55865 60857 65753 70477 74967 79169 83048 86584 89769 92608 95114 97309 99217 100865 102280 103491 104522

For example, a player with 2000 HP and 12 resistance (78.4%) has 9247 EHP. If this player puts on a battered old top-hat (+500 HP,) their new EHP would be 11559, an increase of 2312. If this player put on an orange peel hat (+3 resistance) instead, they would have an EHP of 11955, an increase of 2708. If the same player were to buff their resistance to 25 before headgear, they would have an EHP of 18039. The top-hat would increase EHP by 4510. The orange peel hat would increase EHP by 557.

Attribute Tests

The remaining challenges are passed or failed based on buffed Muscle, Mysticality, Moxie, HP, or MP.

The stat tests are thought to scale as:

 Stat = Depth1.4 + 2

The HP test probably scales like:

 Phys = 10 × Depth1.4

The MP test likely scales as:

 Drain = 1.67 × Depth1.4

The stat tests seem to have about 10% variation. The MP drain test is believed to have less than 5% variation.

Attribute Test Notes
Typewriters.gif
Lift 'em!
Bigstatue.gif
Push it Real Good
Bigmallet.gif
Ring that Bell
Muscle tests
Darkshards.gif
Gathering: The Magic
Mops.gif
Mop the Floor with the Mops
Voodoo.gif
Do away with the 'doo
Mysticality tests
Bigbaby.gif
Don't Wake the Baby
Pooltable.gif
Grab a cue
Sorority.gif Goblinaxe.gif
Put on the Smooth Moves
Moxie tests
Haiku11.gif
Throwin' Down the Gauntlet
Powderbox.gif
A Festering Powder

Strategy

For raw attribute tests, there's nothing more to say than "buff up".

For the Gauntlet, increase Damage Absorption as close as possible to 1000, if not above. Once that's accomplished, then increase HP (when you must choose between the two, DA is more important). Ghostly shell and astral shell buffs are a nearly-free 160 points of DA. Having Tao of the Terrapin can effectively increase your DA by 400, making the Gauntlet test nearly trivial. Torso Awaregness allows an increase of up to 240, in addition to the HP or Muscle boost of the shirt being worn. As an alternative you can also use too legit potions for a DA-increase of up to 600.

For the Powder, to refill your MP after maximizing it, you have a few choices:

Number-Crunching

Assuming that the combat challenges can be handled, the major hurdle for most divers will be the non-combat tests. Recall the basic formula:

StatRequired = Depth1.4

All the basement challenges scale using this formula.

  • For the stat tests, the formula is applied directly (with 10% variance).
  • For the Gauntlet challenge, the damage done is 10 times the formula, but 1000 Damage Absorption reduces it to 1/10, and so one is back to the formula.
  • For the elemental tests, the total damage done is 9 times the formula, but elemental resistance reduces it to around 1/10 (muscle/moxie class) or 1/20 (myst class) -- depending on one's resources -- so this is typically even simpler than the Gauntlet, even without phials.
  • For the Powder challenge, the MP required is 1.67 times the formula. Having the MP increasing skills permed gives you 1.65 times the MP you'd normally have, so with those skills you're nearly right back to the formula; if you're a myst class, that's another 1.5 times the MP, so getting your max MP high enough is a non-issue compared to actually generating the MP.

Given two basement levels m and n, one might wonder how much more difficult the basement is at n compared to m. Some math will show us how far one must dive in order for the basement to become twice as hard:

n1.4 = 2m1.4
e1.4 log n = 2e1.4 log m
1.4 log n = log 2 + 1.4 log m
1.4 (log n - log m) = log 2
log n - log m = (log 2)/1.4
n/m = e(log 2)/1.4 =~ 1.64067

So, if you dive to a level that is about 1.64 times as deep as your current level, you will need 2 times the stats.

The question of whether basement diving is feasible can be asked in two related ways:

  • How much damage is done/how big do player attributes have to be to pass the non-combat tests at a given basement level?
  • Knowing the stat/damage results, what main stat will be required to reach a particular basement level, given the buffs a player is willing to run at all times?

Table of Test Strengths

Knowing the approximate values of the tests as discussed in the outline, it is useful to have a reference of the stat strength/damage done at several common stat levels.

The following table shows the approximate ranges of stats, HP or MP required for the basement challenges just before every 25th level. The Gauntlet damage is reported at 60% and 90% Damage Absorption levels; the elemental tests are shown at 70% and 87% resistance (corresponding to 9 and 20 points of resistance).

Stat tests are believed to have 10% variance. The variance on the Gauntlet and MP drain tests is not fully known yet; therefore only the mean damage is shown.

Depth Stat tests Gauntlet
(60% DA)
Gauntlet
(90% DA)
MP Drain Element
(70% Res)
Element
(87% Res)
24 77 - 94 342 86 143 231 100
49 209 - 256 930 232 388 628 272
74 373 - 455 1656 414 691 1118 484
99 560 - 684 2489 622 1039 1680 728
124 767 - 938 3411 853 1424 2302 998
149 992 - 1213 4411 1103 1842 2977 1290
174 1233 - 1507 5481 1370 2288 3699 1603
199 1488 - 1819 6614 1653 2761 4464 1935
224 1756 - 2147 7806 1951 3259 5269 2283
249 2037 - 2489 9052 2263 3779 6110 2648
Depth Stat tests Gauntlet
(60% DA)
Gauntlet
(90% DA)
MP Drain Element
(70% Res)
Element
(87% Res)
274 2329 - 2846 10349 2587 4321 6986 3027
299 2631 - 3216 11695 2924 4883 7894 3421
324 2944 - 3599 13087 3272 5464 8833 3827
349 3267 - 3993 14522 3630 6063 9802 4248
374 3600 - 4400 15999 4000 6679 10799 4680
399 3941 - 4817 17516 4379 7313 11823 5123
424 4291 - 5245 19071 4768 7962 12873 5578
449 4649 - 5682 20663 5166 8627 13948 6044
474 5016 - 6130 22292 5573 9307 15047 6520
499 5390 - 6588 23955 5989 10001 16170 7007

If you're on a Unix-like system, this command will generate a table of the maximum stat requirement, and the mean Powder MP drain, for every level from 1 to 500:

awk 'BEGIN {for(i=1;i<=500;i++){L=exp(1.4*log(i));printf("%3d %8.1f %8.1f\n", i, L*1.1, L*1.67)}}'

You can save that in a file, or pipe it through your favorite pager program. Either way, it's a handy reference to have open in a window while you're diving.

Main Stat Requirements

This section is completely out of date and needs to be rewritten. Until it has been rewritten, readers are urged to ignore it.

I mean it.

Knowing the stat/HP/MP requirements for the tests at particular basement levels allows for the conversion of the challenges into statements about main stat.

The following table then calculates the required main stat for every 25th basement level according to the equations listed previously, as well as the required stat with a 5% safety margin, given the easy buffs shown. Because of class differences, several common scenarios need to be spelled out for the HP, MP, and element tests.

  • Class differences do not affect Muscle, Mysticality, or Moxie tests, and thus there is only one column.
  • Muscle classes get an innate 50% HP bonus. Tao of the Terrapin enables a large boost in DA. Hence the HP test has four columns.
  • Mysticality classes get an innate 50% MP bonus. The MP test can be divided into Mysticality/non-Mysticality.
  • Mysticality classes have an additional +5% resistance to elements, which is ADDED to the reduction percentage. For example, if a a non-myst class would only take 50% of the raw damage, a myst class would take 45%. If a non-myst class takes 10.1%, a myst class takes 5.1%. When resistances hit the high 20s, this very nearly cuts elemental damage in half.
  • Moxie classes lose out on both the HP and 5% bonus resistance, so in practice there are three elemental categories: Muscle (89.9% resistance, +50% HP), Mysticality (94.9% resistance), and Moxie (89.9% resistance). The numbers in the table assume that the correct powder potion has been imbibed to reduce one element to negligible damage.

While the above does not capture the full range of possibilities given the passive skills available, it gives a good idea of what is possible.

Ignore elemental damage numbers, because they are way out of date and use a deprecated mechanic.
BL Stat Phys
(Mus, 60% DA)
Phys
(Mus, 90% DA)
Phys
(Other, 60% DA)
Phys
(Other, 90% DA)
Drain
(Other)
Drain
(Myst)
Elt
(Mus)
Elt
(Mys)
Elt
(Mox)
24 12 31 8 47 12 20 13 14 11 21
24
(5% padding)
13 33 8 49 12 21 14 15 11 22
49 32 84 21 127 32 53 36 38 29 57
49
(5% padding)
34 89 22 133 33 56 38 40 30 60
74 57 150 38 225 56 95 63 68 51 101
74
(5% padding)
60 158 40 237 59 99 66 71 53 107
99 86 226 57 339 85 142 95 102 76 152
99
(5% padding)
90 237 59 356 89 149 99 107 80 160
124 117 309 77 464 116 194 130 139 104 208
124
(5% padding)
123 325 81 487 122 204 136 146 109 219
149 151 400 100 600 150 251 168 180 135 269
149
(5% padding)
158 420 105 630 158 264 176 189 141 283
174 187 497 124 746 187 312 208 223 167 335
174
(5% padding)
197 522 131 783 196 327 218 234 176 351
199 226 600 150 900 225 376 251 269 202 404
199
(5% padding)
237 630 158 945 236 395 264 283 212 424
224 266 708 177 1062 266 444 296 318 238 476
224
(5% padding)
280 743 186 1115 279 466 311 333 250 500
249 309 821 205 1232 308 515 343 368 276 552
249
(5% padding)
324 862 216 1293 323 540 361 387 290 580
274 353 939 235 1408 352 588 392 421 316 631
274
(5% padding)
370 986 247 1479 370 618 412 442 332 663
299 399 1061 265 1591 398 665 443 476 357 713
299
(5% padding)
419 1114 279 1671 418 698 466 499 375 749
324 446 1187 297 1781 445 744 496 532 399 798
324
(5% padding)
468 1246 312 1870 467 781 521 559 419 838
349 495 1317 329 1976 494 825 550 590 443 886
349
(5% padding)
520 1383 346 2075 519 867 578 620 465 930
374 545 1451 363 2177 544 909 606 651 488 976
374
(5% padding)
572 1524 381 2286 571 955 637 683 512 1024
399 597 1589 397 2383 596 995 664 712 534 1068
399
(5% padding)
626 1668 417 2502 626 1045 697 748 561 1122
424 649 1730 433 2595 649 1084 723 775 582 1163
424
(5% padding)
682 1816 454 2725 681 1138 759 814 611 1221
449 704 1874 469 2811 703 1174 783 840 630 1260
449
(5% padding)
739 1968 492 2952 738 1233 822 882 662 1323
474 759 2022 506 3033 758 1267 845 906 680 1359
474
(5% padding)
797 2123 531 3185 796 1330 887 952 714 1427
499 816 2173 543 3259 815 1361 908 974 730 1461
499
(5% padding)
856 2282 570 3422 856 1429 953 1022 767 1534

The last row, 499, is most informative. It shows that all classes really need Tao to survive the HP test. Muscle/Moxie classes really need Wisdom of the Elder Tortoises in order to make diving feasible. Mysticality classes fare best against the elemental tests. Moxie classes are the worst in every category.

Strategy

From the information above, conclusions can be drawn about configurations that are very useful to have in a basement dive.

Permed Skills

Doing a dive without these skills can significantly increase the time and Meat costs of reaching level 500.

  • For most of the combat challenges, an uncapped combat spell will help: Fearful Fettucini, Saucegeyser, or Weapon of the Pastalord. Pastalord normally does only physical damage, which can be a problem for the ghost, but this can be rectified with Flavour of Magic or by using powder potions.
  • Spectral Snapper is considered a weapon-based skill and not a "spell," so it will always hit the beer golem. The golem often blocks spells, and at higher levels it can become difficult to survive against beer golems long enough for spells to get through. However, uncapped spells scale to a larger portion of their associated stat and benefit from percentage-based spell damage increasers, so spells are a more efficient choice than Snapper when fighting anything other than the beer golem.
  • Wisdom of the Elder Tortoises gives a 50% MP bonus, making the MP test much easier.
  • Spirit of Ravioli provides a 25% HP bonus.
  • Impetuous Sauciness gives five extra turns when drinking Sauceror potions, driving down costs.
  • Ambidextrous Funkslinging enables a player to use two combat items per round. Funkslinging the divine combat items (divine noisemaker, divine can of silly string, divine blowout) is an effective (though somewhat expensive) alternative to scaling combat spells. Remember to use powder potions if fighting a physically resistant monster. Love songs can also be used to the same effect, without requiring a powder potion.

Several buffs help in diving, but are available via buffbots and do not need to be permed.

Several other skills are not "must-have" like the above, but do simplify a dive.

Class Choices

There are several innate differences between character classes that can help one decide whether to do a dive on the current ascension.

  1. Muscle classes have an intrinsic 50% HP bonus.
    • Seal Clubber: The class with the fastest low- to mid-level powerleveling (averaging over 450 muscularity per turn without clovers). Fast powerleveling leads to being able to start the basement at a higher level in the same amount of time.
    • Turtle Tamer: Characters with low skills can benefit from having the natural 50% HP bonus, a class skill for a 50% MP bonus, and a skill to double Damage Absorption from hats and pants (effectively up to 400 extra DA out of 1000 max).
  2. Mysticality classes have a resistance bonus of 5%, and also an MP bonus of 50%.
    • Saucerors get a five-turn duration bonus when imbibing saucecrafting potions (on top of any Impetuous Sauciness bonus), and additionally cook potions at a 3:1 product-to-ingredient ratio. These help give them more efficient use of effects, making them the cheapest class to use. Saucerors also get Slime Potions, which stack on top of sauce potions, letting them reach up to +350% more in stat bonuses than any other class. Also Saucemageddon, a spell more powerful than the normal class spells.
  3. Moxie classes have basically no relevant advantages. Unless dance card-leveling counts, but it doesn't.

Familiars

Given that there are no item or Meat drops in the basement, and monster levels ramp up so high so quickly, very few familiars are actually useful in a dive.

  • An Exotic Parrot helps with the elemental tests, without taking up an equipment slot. Back when elemental resistance had a maximum value, however, it was easy to max out one's resistance with cheap buffs and ordinary equipment. Now that the elemental resistance has no upper limit, any extra elemental resistance will help with the elemental tests. Every 20 lbs of parrot adds 1 increment of resistance to each element.
  • A Levitating Potato can block attacks, which may be particularly helpful against the beer golem.
  • A Hovering Sombrero may be a good choice for increasing the already large stat gains at deep basement levels.
  • A Crimbo P. R. E. S. S. I. E. can act as an improved Sombrero. It can boost stat gains like a Sombrero, buff your stats, restore MP, block enemy attacks, attack, and delevel.
  • A Disembodied Hand allows you to temporarily trade out your familiar slot for an extra one-handed weapon. This is helpful for cases like equipping another Brimstone Bludgeon, stainless steel shillelagh, Grimacite gat, bottle-rocket crossbow or Hodgman's whackin' stick in order to pass a stat test.
  • Among familiar equipment, a Mayflower bouquet is especially useful for basementing since it has a decent chance to block enemy attacks on any familiar.

Useful items

Equipment choices

The 'Dressing For Success pages should be the main resource for meeting the requirements of the challenges. However, several pieces of equipment deserve explicit mention.

  • The El Vibrato Relics outfit, when properly charged, will give 1000 HP or 1000 MP (or a combination in between), which makes the damage tests much easier. Note that this outfit requires 200 Muscle and 200 Moxie to equip, plus the appropriate punchcards. It's much less expensive to increase MP than HP.
  • A scratch 'n' sniff sword/crossbow with 3 wrestler stickers provides 30% bonus to all stats. They last 20 battles, meaning you can use it for tests without using it up. The stickers are cheap at the Mall and the sword / crossbow is free when you use the stickers.
  • Sugar shorts provide 25% to all stats for around 30 battles. Like the stickers, they are also cheap.
  • The Sea salt scrubs are very useful if you have Torso Awaregness, giving +400 HP and +400 MP, in addition to a Mysticality boost.
  • The super-sweet boom box gives great stats for one hand (meaning it can be dual-wielded) and an extra song slot (if you really need it), as well as MP regen (which is good to have during stat tests). It costs 1000 Game Grid tickets, making it an investment.
  • Equipping the entire Clothing of Loathing outfit grants you +128% to all stats, plus +10 resistance to all elements. You also get +500 HP/MP from the Jeans of Loathing, plus a dozen other effects. It will take at least 13 ascensions to get the entire set, however.
Ascension
  • The Ascension Rewards for Hardcore, HCO, and Bad Moon runs give very good stat buffs, often among the best of any equipment available.
  • Astral Pets grant a good percentage increase to a single stat, but must be chosen before the ascension.
Clan Basement

Consumables

General Strategy

  • Characters willing to use up their fullness can drink Jumbo Dr. Lucifers to cheaply refill their MP for the MP tests.
  • Those having trouble passing the tests should save the diet buffs (e.g., wad effects, Flower Power) for basement diving later in their KoL day, after they've had a chance to raise their main stat some more.
  • The attribute and damage tests are not necessarily constant; due to the variations, one can pass a test with the exact same stats that have failed previously.
  • Doing the Mysterious Island Quest's side-quests as a Frat will be helpful. Mysterious Island Arena's Frat reward includes the Elvish buff, and the Nunnery's Frat reward heals up to 3,000 HP and MP per day.

Optimal Time to Start a Dive

Many players choose to do their dives concurrently with attaining their level 30 class trophies (e.g., the Seal Clubber's Scourge of Seals), as the high main stat at level 30 makes for an easier dive. However, a dive need not start at level 30, because the stat rewards over the course of finishing 500 basement levels are considerable, due to scaling monster levels. At level 100, 300 stats per combat are expected, roughly half of which will be distributed into the main stat. At level 400, over 2000 stats per combat will be earned.

Here is some rough math:

 Monster level = 2 * Depth1.4
 Sombrero weight = 40
 Sombrero bonus = sqrt(40 * monster level) / 10
 Total stat gain from monster = (monster level / 4) + sombrero bonus
 Chance of combat on a non-reward basement level = 0.46 (estimated)
 Expected mainstat gain on a non-reward basement level =
   0.46 * (total stat gain from monster) / 2
 Expected mainstat gain on a reward basement level = current mainstat * 2 / 3

If we approximate your current mainstat as 780, then you can expect to gain 168K mainstat from the Basement, assuming no stat days. This is enough to move you from 738 to 845. In other words, if there's no stat day in the near future, mainstat 738 might be a good point to enter the Basement.

Note: if you are leveling using a Gym, the number of substats gained per turn increases with your mainstat. It might be a good idea to run the Basement earlier than strictly necessary, so as to gain the substats from combat sooner and thus level faster. This must be balanced against the increased expense of running the Basement at a low level.

Cost Expectations

This section is outdated, and is inherently subject to incorrectness when new basement-relevant items are released, or when mall prices change.

Here is a rough table for computing how much a Basement dive might cost. We assume that the character initially has a mainstat of 750 and offstats of 200. We assume the character has equipment-based stat buffs totaling 100% to each stat (for example, a full Brimstone outfit). For each section of the Basement, the table gives the potions that would be required to pass all stat tests in that section. After 330 basement levels have gone by, we assume the character has reached a mainstat of 800.

For Meat-per-adventure calculations we assume that each potion grants 10 turns of its effect.

Basement Levels Active Potions Lowest Stat Meat/Adv Cost
1-70 (none) 200*2=400 0 0
71-180 oil of stability or oil of expertise or oil of slipperiness 750*2=1500 100 11000
181-210 the above, plus tomato juice of powerful power 750*2.5=1875 160 4800
211-280 the above, plus potion of temporary gr8tness 750*3.5=2625 310 21700
281-330 the above, plus philter of phorce, ointment of the occult, serum of sarcasm 750*4.5=3375 490 24500
331-450 the above, plus Ferrigno's Elixir of Power, Hawking's Elixir of Brilliance, Connery's Elixir of Audacity 800*6.5=5200 1010 121200
450-500 the above, plus the five elemental wad effects (requires rollover to refresh spleen) 800*7.5=6000 1010 50500
Total: 233700

Players might be able to save some Meat by employing food-based buffs (such as flower petal pies or roasted marshmallows), but these come at a substantial cost in that they prevent the player from gaining adventures from higher-quality food. In general it is more efficient to eat the higher-quality food, use a few extra potions, and make up for the cost by spending the extra adventures Meat-farming.

Other buffs, such as those gained from Dungeons of Doom potions, are inefficient compared to sauce potions, and should only be used as a last resort.

On the other hand players can save some Meat by having better equipment, or being more careful about their buffs (using wad effects, hair spray, and Ben-Gal™ Balm to best advantage). Players can save quite a lot of Meat by playing as a Sauceror, which makes all sauce potions last 15 turns instead of 10.

Still, it's reasonable to expect that a basement dive will require roughly 250K worth of potions.

Notes

  • The original spading and strategizing for basement diving was largely done in the HCO forum.