SilverSliver's Guide to Ivan
This article is a work in progress by SilverSliver. Please contact on forums if problems arise
Seriously, MASSIVE spoilers ahead. It would in your best interests only to read this when you reach a point where despite your best efforts, you cannot win. I did not spend hours writing this to ruin your IVAN experience before you began, I wrote it to enhance your current one with tips and general knowledge that I hope you might not know. Please, click away if you're new.
Still here? Alright, let's begin.
Many, many years after the creation IVAN, I have decided as to also add my 2 cents on the topic of how to progress through Ivan. Despite me being generally new around the community, I believe even the best of players can learn something from this. It also will be a compilation of several pages of other work, so if you're ever feeling too lazy to search up a specific page, you can take a look here. This is meant to be a generalist guide detailing my opinions on literally everything and tips/trick for progressing through stages. I will go through each topic with its corresponding subtopics, then add a unhelpful TL;DR for lazy people. This guide doesn't not contain exploits, save scumming and code modification, which I don't bother to link as it completely takes the fun out of the game (I consider exploits are addressed like this: If the devs knew about it, would they allow it?)
Many of these general tips are applicable through all versions. Remember, wiz mode is great for testing out all your odd ideas (note that wiz mode in later version may allow some rules that aren't possible normally, such as negating intelligence requirements for changing materials or cloning certain scrolls, so do be careful).
Enjoy ;p (and mind the humor, I don't mind)
- 1 Keys
- 2 Weapons
- 3 Armor
- 4 Danger Level
- 5 Training
- 6 Prayers and Gods
- 7 Scrolls
- 8 Wands
- 9 Traps
- 10 Healing
- 11 Allies
- 12 Status Effects
- 13 Miscellaneous
Though many people may simply not mention them because of how simple they are and that they can be accessed simply by clicking the '?' button, I feel that all keys need to be mentioned because not having the knowledge about one important one can hurt a run a lot. That said, let's go through the most important keys:
*Please message me in the forums If I get any key wrong, or I missed some vastly key changing game*
up, down, left, and right Arrow: Self Explanatory, Movement keys.
Home and End (Located in the top right corner of the keyboard), Page Up and Page Down (Located in the bottom right corner of the keyboard): Not so self explanatory. These keys, which aren't mentioned for whatever reason, allow you to move diagonally. Homes moves you up and left, End moves you down and left, Page Up is up and right, and Page Down is down and right. Importantly, it's counted as a single move. Even more importantly, it allows you to interact with otherwise non-interactable objects, most notably being 2 of Haathbar's bookshelf. MOST IMPORTANTLY, and I cannot stress this enough because it makes your run so much safer, being at a diagonal greatly decreases damage from certain entities, including trapped door explosions, zaps from Wand of Fireballs and Wand of Lightning, and the Enner Beast scream.
a: This key is used to apply objects. More specifically, it is the game's interaction with wands, tools, and certain miscellaneous items (chests and traps). With wands, 'a' will not zap, and instead break, releasing all their stored energy onto the user, namely you. This is useful for the wand of teleportation
Haha, so I really didn't think this one out, and since keys can be literally defined as the 'key'board keys and the shaped keys, I've decided to just make another small section here, calling them figurative keys (despite being literal)
Along your journey, you may find Circular, Square, or Triangular shaped keys on the ground or in shops. They weigh little, so it doesn't hurt to pick them up. Their purpose is straightforward, being able to lock and unlock their corresponding locks, which come handy in two main scenarios. If you come across a locked door, unlocking them first with a key is much safer and prevent possible explosions that set your precious scrolls on fire. On the other hand, they also can be used to lock chests, making your wands much safer (at least when stored), your food hidden away from the hungry hungry hip- monsters, and your scrolls just a little more protected. See miscellaneous for more.
Ironically, although these keys are rarer, unlike the common keys, they are guaranteed to spawn in a game, but end up being much harder to get because of how strong their wielders are.
Hexagonal and Octagonal Shaped Key:
These two specials keys may not be very helpful in opening normal dungeon doors, but instead provide much help in unlocking certain helpful items and areas. The hexagonal key can be used for all doors in the cathedral, which may help if you wish to start a rebellion. The octagonal key is more useful, being able to unlock the door to the infamous mage room and some certain certain hidden chests. In older versions, the keys can be found on Sir Haedlac Galladon VII and Ischaldirh respectively, which is kind of a yikes, but now they can be found much more easily in the cathedral in the possession of Moonrise Stealing Dark, who still provides a challenge, but much less so.
Heart Shaped Key: Where do you get this? ARGH it's not on the wiki do i gotta find it myself? ARGH Help someone
The Skeleton Key
If you end up lucky enough, you might find a glowing key with the shape of a skull on a dungeon floor. The skeleton key, as it's called, can open any lock mentioned above, even broken locks that others cannot. While this seems obvious enough from the name, it is important to note 2 things:
1. If you have the other types of keys, you can and should sell the Skeleton key for an amazing price
2. Never wish for the skeleton key, you'll get fish bones.
Weapons are an invaluable component in IVAN, dictating how much damage you are able to do to your enemies (unless for some reason you want to smack people with a frog head or wield 2 shields).
Armor in IVAN is
What is this? A challenger approaches! Cue story time:
You looked around, making sure nobody was watching you, then picked up the yellow ring off the ground and slid it onto your finger. Finders Keepers! Suddenly, an uncomfortable uncertainty of who you really are overwhelms you. Your body grows in a crimson light as you turn into-a valpurium golem!? Very cool. You flex your uber-powerful limbs and run amok, absolutely obliterating your enemies when suddenly, your body is hit by a spell of electricity. It barely hurts you, and you charge towards the source, full of confidence, when you turn back into yourself. Uh-oh. You body is annihilated out of existence by Ischaldirh, the dark archmage and his octiron quarterstaff +12. What just happened?
This unusual appearance of strong enemies despite your apparent weakness is known as Danger Level, which spawns enemies for you based on how strong the system thinks you are. The code behind it is very complicated, but it basically compares how long it would take for a monster to kill you compared to how long it would take you to kill them. The better your armor, weapons, and proficiency are, the more dangerous monsters are spawned. This does not mean you should avoid getting stronger, as enemies naturally get stronger over time, and once you get strong enough, you basically become invincible. Virtually all items are worth picking up, beside the ones listed below (most of which have to do with boosting your endurance), with the least danger-level increasing at the top and the most lethal at the bottom. Later in this guide, I will also include a section on how to beat the danger curve and what you can use when you do so (see miscellaneous).
Along your journey (or by praying to Mellis and rarely Nefas), you may find containers holding various excrements of an ommel. These liquids or solid are in fact not harmful (so don't throw them at enemies for the love of god), but when consumed provide a boost in stats! Very powerful stuff, as it not only saves times but usually ends up giving more xp than grinding can. Ommel substances can be cloned also, which can lead to sky high stats (see miscellaneous). However, if you consume too much ommel snot before you're prepared, a kamikaze dwarf could easily end your game. Otherwise, feel free to binge on all the urine and sweat you want.
AOGH, short for the Armor of Great Health, is a special type of torso armor which enchantment corresponds with the stats to it's endurance, so if you had a phoenix feather armor of great health+2, your endurance would be boosted by 2 points. In the very early game when you have little health or alternative, it's a good idea to pick this up. But as you continue on, know that the AOGH not only dramatically increases the danger level, but also provides less AV and weighs more than normal armor. It's generally a meme in the IVAN community.
Ahhh, the days when you found a FLAMING VALPURIUM SWORD+10! What a simply incredible weapon lying around. High attack, burn damage, top tier material, what's not to like? Wait... where did it go? This is a cruel trap of one of the Ivan developers, a mirrored item that temporarily shoots your danger level sky high and keeps it there when it disappears. While you might find other mirrored items in the game (See section 4.5 of traps), they are generally safe to use for the time being. It is highly recommended not to use unless you are very confident of your survival.
Level 64 Skills
In older versions of IVAN (feel free to ignore this if you play a more current version), the devs forgot to patch improving weapon skills, so if you train with an item for long enough, your skill level with it will jump from 19 to 64! Of course, you've turned your effectiveness to +325%, tripling your damage, making enemies all the stronger.
As mentioned in the example, polymorphing into other creatures doesn't bode well. If by some chance you end up with a strong monster/golem, you've also artificially boosted your danger level greatly, but once your return to your true form, the danger stays high but your strength goes, leaving you in a lot of trouble. This can destroy runs if you end up spawning named enemies with your high health.
Something more dangerous than polymorphing? Yes. With a rare Scroll of Change Material or a good prayer (see gods), you gain the ability to change a limb into another material. These materials usually have Astr/Lstr multiple times stronger than human flesh, are much harder to damage... and shoot your health sky high. Since the limb is so helpfully hard to remove, and since your life depends on individual body parts rather than your total health, this is a easy way to get screwed. Try not to go with anything stronger than phoenix feather if you want to go the artificial limb route.
So that you've read all these unfortunate traps. Is danger level something to be noted? Absolutely. Remember above all that health above 65 makes kamikaze dwarfs start to spawn, health above 78 starts spawning weak named enemies, and health in the hundreds is when you'd best be armed to the teeth. But fear not, see miscellaneous for how to beat the danger curve. Once you do, you can begin toying around with all sorts of power.
Outside of weapons, training abilities and weapon effectiveness is important to becoming the all-powerful Ivan player you were meant to be. Many of these stats can be trained without much difficulty, but beware it is also easy for them to drop. Do note that while you can train stats as much as you want, your gains will become nominally smaller over time, and they is only a shadow the power of cloning ommel liquids and artificial limbs bring.
AStr, or the ability to wield heavier weapons and do damage, is important for maximizing attack power by being unburdened by weapon weight. They also allow you to dig faster and fatigue slower, but that is harder relevant in most scenarios. Many of the top tier weapons mentioned above require two handed usage, but if arm strength is high enough, one can wield them in one hand without any problems. Here is a chart of arm strength required to wield heavy weapons.
- Chart- To be inserted*
To train arm strength, it's best to use heavy weapons to be able to use heavy weapons (See what I did there?). Halberds, Polearms, and Large swords all work wonders if made of heavy materials, particularly ones in the iron family. So don't throw away that large, inaccurate 2 handed iron sword just yet, it may kick up your level a notch. Outside of heavy weapons, digging also helps to train Astr, but it requires a constant and large food supply, and isn't necessary.
LStr, or the ability to hold more items and buff up these scratches, allows you not only to hold more items, but also to escape from certain traps more easily (which won't be a problem if you are able to acquire a belt of levitation). Being burdened and stressed decrease your combat ability by a whooping 25% and 50% percent respectively, not even including being overloaded, so avoiding such unfortunate circumstances are life-saving. Surprising, this attribute does not matter as much as others, as it can be mitigated by carrying only essential equipment (see miscellaneous for more info). Despite that, it's still a good idea to keep LStr at a respectable level, enough so that losing use of one leg won't bother you too much.
To train leg strength, the simplest method is carry as items until you are stressed, and run around with them. Train leg strength before agility if you can, because running around stressed hurts your agility while the reverse is much less notable. You will require a steady stream of food for this too.
Dex, or the ability to attack accurately and quickly (arm agility), allows you to have a greater chance of hitting your enemies and being able to escape certain traps. Despite not having many applications, this is a vastly important ability as it ends fights much quicker, leaving you more likely to be alive.
To train dexterity, use fast attacking weapons to attack enemies, with the former being too weak to damage the latter, and the latter being to weak to hurt the wielder much. The perfect balance for this seems to be banana peels and greater carnivorous plants, both which can be easily found every game. Pick up the peels from Huang Ming Pong's hut, then take them to UT3 and let Jenny spawn the greater carnivorous plants. Whack on them as you please, but beware your Stamina<-- Seriously, I mean it
Agi, or the ability to do things faster (leg dexterity), speeds up your actions and allows you to chase or flee (but mostly flee) enemies. It can also increase your dodge chances.
To train agility, just run around. Even normal dungeon exploration will train agility, but remember that being burdened or worse hurts that training, and being satisfied or higher also hurts that training. For the greatest results, run around in the world map with little materials except for necessary food, which should only be used to raise you up to barely satisfied every once in a while
End, or the opposite of the beginning, the step after the middle, the... you know, is the ability to take a hit. It also increases your stamina and overall regeneration rate. This stat is easily the most controversial one, as having high health does make fights safer, but also dramatically increase your danger level to annoying enemies like dwarves(ugh), mages(eugh), and named enemies(aeiou) that can make fights for unprepared adventurers a nightmare. However if you do manage to break the danger curve (*See Danger Level above), leveling up endurance as high as possible is a great idea.
If you must train your Endurance, taking damage and healing it up generally will increase your health over time. Do not think this means you should chug sulfuric acid or take a fresh breathe of mustard gas, instead, take light damage from enemies and just heal it over time. School food is also useful increasing Endurance, but know that it only has about a 1/3 chance of success and will poison you regardless. At least it doesn't spoil...
Intelligence and Wisdom
Int and Wis, or how smart you are, have been grouped together because training Int almost always trains Wis at the same time. They do have different purposes though. Intelligence allows you to transformed items into a higher quality, see farther with ESP, read faster and teleport farther. Wisdom increase the rate at which your relationship will gods change. From reading, intelligence is obviously more helpful, but since both are trained at the same time, consider it a combined benefit.
To train the two, Science Talking will be the main method of slowly but surely upping your stats. reading scrolls and praying to gods will also help, if you have enough (See miscellaneous for maximizing scroll reading).
Cha, or the ability to scam the scammers, allows you to sell items in shops for higher prices and buy them at lower ones. That's it
Prayers and Gods
Oh Mortifer... explaining gods are no easy task. Mysterious in their ways, and only known through the representatives sent to you, the abilities of gods will greatly benefit your run with resources, enchantments, and even powerful weapons. Yet learn to fear their divine wrath-just kidding, any god's anger can easily be mitigated if you understand cooldowns. This section will detail the various gifts of the gods and their tiers (imho), and will start from the most lawful to the most chaotic. This guide will not go over the punishments of most gods (you'll see), as it assumes you've read enough to understand when and how to pray.
Books and Alters:
Before we really explain gods, it's good to know to know gods in the first place. When you run around the world, you might find a yellow, red, or blue book lying on the ground, or if you're lucky, a room with a strange symbol on one of the tiles. These books and alters, respectively, are the path between you and a god. The owners of books are easy to recognize, and the owners of symbols might be tricky, but they will be explained below, and you'll learn them in due time. Once you have read a book or stood on an alter, you can 'p'ray to the respective god/goddess. Note that reading a book will shift your alignment, but simply discovering an alter will lead to minimal effects. You can also 'o'ffer stuff to gods (but only on alters) to increase your relationship to them.
As the last paragraph began insinuating, alignment and relation are critical in praying to gods. Each god has it's own alignment, and their relationship with you will be based on how lawful/chaotic you are yourself. You can usually pray safely with other gods of similar alignment. Obviously, the Kings of Gods and the Destroyer of Worlds will be pissed for having affairs with the other, but even if gods are the same alignment, they can become displeased with you. It is best to limit gods to only 2-3 levels away from each other (for example L++ to L,L- to N, or C+ to C-) to ensure positive relations with all of them, knowing that more is possible but risky. By positive relations, or a god's happiness, ranging from being 'A champion of the cause!' to extremely angry, dictate their rewards/punishments, the latter of which can be quite severe. Praying to a happy god will increase not only your relationship with them, but also closely aligned gods. As is such, this allows you to slowly change your alignment over time, shifting from lawful to chaotic and vice verse.
Your alignment will be displayed in the bottom left corner next to your name. Besides the two common ways mentioned earlier, you may also change alignment by doing evil deeds. Note that all alignment changes outside of the ones in the previous paragraph only shift your alignment towards chaotic, so you'll need some other method to gain lawfulness, especially if you want to attempt the high priest ending.
You've understood to pray to Gods only in close alignment. You've offered all your loot to your chosen god/goddess, and they declare they are extremely pleased with you. You pray to them and receive a game-changing powerup. You offer something small at the alter, and find they declare you 'A champion of the cause!'. Giddy, you pray once more... and the god is displeased? What's going on here?
This most common pitfall is known as cooldown, which all gods have. Like a puppy to its master, nagging to it too often will cause annoyance and eventually kicking. Cooldown for most gods is almost 3 hours, so after praying successfully to a god, wait for about that long before praying again. If your standing with a god is particularly good, you may pray to them more than one in the time interval, but decrease your relationship greatly (making it likelier to have punishments) and create anger, which is a timer based outside of relation, and is about double the normal waiting time between prayers. Also note that prayers to Valpurus, Mortifer, and Atavus after you receive their championship gifts take much longer before you can pray to them again safely, 50 hours to be precise.
Finally, we begin actually rating gods. Lawful gods generally award a boon that work instantly and tend to be more situational. All except Valpurus give limbs of their aligned materials.
The King of the Gods, the ruler of worlds, the one who carries the weight of the world on his back... he's pretty useless in the old version, but he's much better now. He requires Champion level to be prayed to, and gives an unenchanted valpurium sword and shield. The sword is good quality, but usually ends up outclassed by other special/unique weapons. The shield use to be pointless, but with the more recent versions of IVAN with shields giving AV, an easily acquirable AV 21 is very, very strong and great to use. You must become his champion to acquire the hardest victory, which doesn't help that killing Petrus decreases your standing with him. Any angels gifted to you by him are permanent, but note that Inlux cannot be summoned because they are used to defend Attnam. Future prayers in the current version give a Holy Handgrenade of Antioch, a nice light source and a big boom. Also keep in mind that receiving championship gifts from him mean you cannot receive Neerc Se-ulb from Mortifer
The god of law and order, Legifer does nothing special but call upon Inlux to save you by surrounding you with an explosion of fire. The explosion power is proportional to your relationship with Legifer and will not damage you or anything you hold, but may end up breaking nearby equipment or worse, setting off traps. It is helpful for putting down weaker monsters and breaking down weak walls, but that's about it. Since glass is one of his aligned materials, it's easier to reach champion status with him compared to most other gods, as lanterns greatly please him. This strategy ends up being helpful for getting into good terms with Valpurus. He does give aligned materials for limbs are half decent, notably |illithium and orichalcum.
The god of charity and munificence, Atavus use to be somewhat lackluster in older versions, giving out an Arcanite plate mail at Champion Level (Av 18, 3200 g since the wiki page for him doesn't mention it for some reason), a very strong early game armor that could also be sold for a great price once you got something better. But now, what makes him good is his constant enchanting of armor, easily buffing all your gear up to +3 if you have the patience. He can give random chests full of random goodies or very rarely a scroll of wishing, but don't count on it in a run. His aligned materials are unnoteworthy, but he usually will just give you a new limb of your original flesh.
The goddess of love and art, Dulcis is good with people by making friends wherever [I] go. She will attempt to charm anyone with her music when you pray to her. The success rate is higher based on your relation with her, but don't try charming any named enemies stronger than Rondol, as the chance of failure is either extremely high or guaranteed. In later versions, she will also train your charisma a lot. The reason she's considered so good (at least by me) is because she essential offers an infinite army of allies (see allies for how to use them), and the strength that comes in numbers (or at least in cannon fodder) is worth a lot. She also offers a variety of musical instruments that will provide food, cure and inflict status effects, transport allies, and even heal you. Her aligned materials have also become very strong in the recent updates, notably angel hair and dream cloth.
The goddess of health and nutrition, Seges can be a lifesaver, feeding you to almost bloated, curing diseases, and healing burns (which comes in handy a lot, since no other gods do this). However, her most useful perk is being able to heal you greatly in a single prayer. However, you must be injured or not hungry or diseased in any other way, otherwise she won't heal you. Her aligned materials are rather unnoteworthy, but she usually will just give you a new limb of your original flesh.
The god of knowledge, magic, and handicrafts (so long OWO), Sophos is basically an emergency teleport. If you're ever surrounded by dangerous monsters, missing the arms to zap a wand and missing the time to read a scroll, his teleport can seriously save your day. The one downside to this is that his teleport cannot be controlled by telecontrol, so your destination is very luck based. Her aligned items for limbs are incredible. They notably compose of lightweight, unrustable metals such arcanite, mithril, and occultum or top tier cloths including spider silk, gossamer, and spirit cloth. And if you're really lucky, you might receive a large, scrumptious limb made of ommel cerumen to eat. Keep Danger level in mind though!
Neutral gods, the smallest category, do very different things each. All may give limbs of their aligned materials. Note that while they provide powerful general boons, it becomes very hard to get championship gifts from the extreme gods, so plan ahead.
Silva (N+): Silva provides earthquakes, wolves, and occasionally food. The earthquakes are useful for creating passageways in tight level or for taking down smaller enemies, and the wolves are fun to buff with Ommel bone and Ommel Tooth, but that's about it. Only notable limbs provides are of crystal, The least useful of the neutral gods.
Loricatus (N): Loricatus is a G. He's awesome. No questions asked. Don't pray to him while missing a limb, as although they boast insane strength, they also shoot your danger level through the roof while plummeting your dexterity. Otherwise, he's great. He'll repair anything broken on you for free, offer scrolls of repair, hardening, and sometimes even change material. But his real strength comes in occasionally hardening your weapons. If you hold an item in your hand of his alignment, Loricatus has a chance of hardening it proportional to your relationship with him. Simply put, you can eventually harden all your tin equipment to adamant, which is even stronger than Valpurium! (Yet heavier, less flexible, and prone to rusting, so don't get your hopes up that much. Really, it's a tradeoff for armor, high AV in exchange for high penalties, but hardening weapons like swords to adamant are a great idea). Another small thing is that he can harden your lead equipment to gold, so he provide a pretty decent chunk of money too. Even more, even when he's mad, he's great. He'll change whatever you're holding into banana flesh. Firstly, this can be easily mitigated if you have a socm, but if you hold something else in your hands, like a certain large meteoric steel chest with an octagonal lock, it can provide days worth of food. Very cool.
Mellis (N-): Mellis is a G2. He's also awesome. His limbs are also lackluster like Loricatus, but his boons are great. He can offer pocket money, allowing you to get infinite money with enough time. He can teach you about other gods, revealing information about them you don't yet know. Most importantly, he fills your bottles. Wait, what? That's all he does? Yep. When you pray to him with empty bottles and cans (or banana peels if you've got nothing else), he will fill them with any possible substances. He usually fills cans with food, and bottles with drinks, so plan accordingly based on your hunger. Usually, praying with bottes are far superior, as they provide healing, alcohol (for money and guards), poisons, and ommel excretements. The latter mentioned are huge, providing a theoretically infinite amount of stats, which can be easily cloned (see miscellaneous), making him a top-tier god.
Chaotic gods give more long lasting, but still temporary boon. All except Mortifer may give limbs of their aligned materials.
Cleptia is just a chill goddess. She mainly exists to just give you haste. This doesn't seem like a lot, but once you get farther into the game, almost every strong enemy has some form of haste available, and having a constant source of it is very, very good. Otherwise, if you already have haste, she'll give you invisibility. If you have that too, infravision. If even that, she trains your agility and dexterity, all of which serve as a nice boost. For limbs, she only has two aligned materials, Moon Silver and Shadow Cloth, both of which are a consistent and strong choice.
Nefas is a somewhat of an exception to chaotic gods, as she is the only one that provides allies outside of angels and archangels: mistresses! At the beginning, she only offers bottles of vodka, which are provide a small but good source of income, or just an infinite supply of bottles for Mellis, but later on she gifts a mistress, or when very happy a mistress torturing chief, which can provide for the armor you lack, or just serve as strong temporary allies. Her aligned materials are unnoteworthy, with the exception of white jade.
My least favorite god due to her general uselessness. Absolutely avoid praying to her if you don't have either some type of disease, gas immunity, or a safe location, as she can polymorph you into a random creature, which often ends up with you deader than a dead zombie that's dead. If you have a diseases such as leprosy or poisoned, she will grant temporary disease immunity (basically a worse alternative to Seges), and her aligned materials are awful. Her only saving grace (which pretty decent, to be honest) is a chance of giving every other creature on the level leprosy provided you have disease immunity, so if you get the amulet or the Gorovits Family Gas Mask, Sherarax and some other enemies can become a lot easier to take down.
Similar to Cleptia, Infuscor mainly provides effects in the forms of ESP, then TeleControl, then polycontrol. If you have all of those, she drops 3 scroll of teleportation, which combined with TeleControl prove helpful in getting to secret rooms. She has few aligned materials, but the most notable, Octiron and Star Metal, are pretty dang strong.
Cruentus is a strong god that just keeps getting buffed. It's crazy. His main purpose now is providing an infinite source of troll blood, occasional rain, to put out fires (don't count on that though), and weapon enchants. However, he has a somewhat hidden buff compared to other gods, which lies in his archangel, Gladius. For some strange reason, while other angels only carry a book of their respective god or little else (Salubris has some rather pointless food and Leguluis has 50 million roubles worth 2 units) for you to take, Gladius holds a PERMANENT RUBY TWO-HANDED SCIMITAR + 4 (10-17 DAMAGE, *Update here*)!?! Outrageous. It's likely an unbalanced oversight, but a it's a strong weapon of good quality material that can be wielded even in one hand without too much trouble. His aligned materials are bone related, so it's possible for you to get a bone limb early on, wait for it to rot, then replace it later on.
The Destroyer of Worlds is just as picky as the king of Gods, but his championship weapon is no joke. Neerc Se'ulb is a mithril mace with a mithril handle with the unique effect of life steal. In a game with only one life and easily damaged body parts, it can save you many times over. However, you'll likely have to wield it with both hands until far into the game (See Weapons Chart above for more info), but since it does 12-22 damage, it's more than good enough for the time. Subsequent prayers in the current version give temporary ethereal, which only helps for escaping or find those very secret rooms. Also keep in mind that receiving championship gifts from him mean you cannot receive valpurium arms from Valpurus.
The whole point of IVAN is not just boosting your stats through the roof, but also getting as many special effects as possible. Even with hundreds of points worth of stats, certain enemies can stuff you harder than that bald guy with 10 jobs. Your abilities play an incredibly important role, and here's stuff that you really should have, permanently (or period, I suppose). These are the most important ones, and are not ranked by importance, but instead ease of access. Despite that, it should be generally clear which ones are best. With enough special effect, the game will be much more relaxed.
Telecontrol provides the simple ability of being able to choose where to teleport when you get teleported, and the range is based on the user's current intelligence. This sounds simple, but can be innumerably helpful later on (see RUN AWAY). To get it permanently, a ring of telecontrol would do the trick, but it is much easier to remember the phrase "friends, and food". By making blink dogs teleport around either as a friend or foe, they generate more of their kind. Killing and eating three of them in quick succession will give you telecontrol permanently.
ESP enables the user to detect intelligent enemies, no matter their location or current visibility status. However, if their int is below 5, they cannot be detected (including veteran kamikaze dwarves, golems, and invisible stalkers)
In contrast to haste, nearly no strong enemy has levitation except for One-eyed Sam, but it practically serves as it's own psuedo-aols (see wishes for a larger rant). You could get unbelievably lucky on a fountain, but it's often not worth the risk, so you are forced to either get a belt of levitation or a cloak of flying, both rare, rare items.
Enables the user to choose what they want to polymorph into. At a certain point, your strength will attract named enemies. One in particular has survived a night with a god herself. Yep, it's Sherarax. If you choose to take Sherarax head on, have some form of polycontrol, as her chameleon whip could end you despite having all the top-tier items. You could waste a ring on polycontrol or unchanging, but my preferred method is to pray to Infuscor, who will eventually make you end up with permanent polycontrol.
Prevents panic. A new ability, and also the least needed one, assuming you get strong enough. However, if you don't, or if somehow Petrus chops off 3 limbs, it helps to deal just a little more damage, or to run away. Can only be acquired permanently with a ring of bravery or the Filthy tunic of martyr Bessica, but a horn of bravery usually works better and doesn't take up a ring/armor space.
If they can't see you, that's good. It decreases their accuracy against you, and increases your accuracy against them. About 50 zaps of wands of invisibility are required for permanent invisibility, but be careful that it, as its own drawback to go with it. I personally would just go with a ring of invisibility off an elite guard (which can be acquired with a prayer to Dulcis, having fun figuring out how to do that).
Haste will speed up everything you do, from combat to reading, so acquiring it is a top-tier priority. Every strong enemy in the game has some form of haste. Petrus has the Justifier, Ischaldirh can haste himself, Sherarax has inherent haste, the rulers of Aslona have mystic frogs, One-eyed Sam has the ring of ludicrous speed, etc. Again, you could get lucky on a fountain, but you could also get permanent slow, so forget that. Instead, with approximately 70 zaps with wands of haste will do the trick, or a bit more with 'a'pplying wands or prayers to Cleptia.
A recent and decent ability added that greatly speeds up your healing rate and even eventually grows back limbs. Concurrently the only source of permanent regeneration is found in a belt of regeneration, but its help is unmistakable.
There are only 3 ways to acquire this power: Body swap to an archangel, the Blessed Shield of the Phoenix, and an Amulet of Life Saving. While the first one is just stupid, the other two provide the ability to survive death itself and regenerate to full health instantly. If your character gets really strong, you want this.
This section contains various non-cheating tips that will just make your life 27% or more less frustrating, guaranteed.
A common question is this: how do you become as overpowered as possible? Of course, on of the very nice things about IVAN is that no matter how strong you are, somebody out there can whoop you, but there is an acceptable general equipment. While weapons are too much of a hot topic to argue about, A perfect loadout will probably have the following (excluding the obvious idea of high stats and highly enchanted valpurium/GEF/psypher gear):
Multiple Permanent Status Effects, especially ESP, Infravision, Polycontrol, Telecontrol, and Haste (see status effects for how to get them), A Cloak of Flying, An Amulet of Life Saving (or as many as you fancy), A Belt of Regeneration, Gauntlets of strength/dexterity (the latter more preferable), Boots of strength/agility (the latter more preferable), A copy of all your gear, some form of teleportation and a lot of it (wands preferred), Some forms of fire, electricity, and magic resistance (can be your rings), (Antidote Liquid/Panacea/A happy Seges), Scrolls of repair/ A happy Loriacatus, Some form of bravery (horn of bravery preferable), quick healing (Horn of Healing/Happy Seges preferable), some form of invisibility (Happy Cleptia/Wands Preferable), food (Troll Blood preferable), good allies (think permanent angels, Ivan, Vladimir, elite guards, necromancers, mages, mystic frogs, mistresses, resurrected named enemies, kamikaze dwarves [careful!])
Basically, you wanna look like One-eyed Sam, but have more stuff.
You'll thank me for this.
Money, Merka, and Murder
An important factor in the game is being able to sell
No freaking way. You just rubbed one ou-ahem, an oil lamp and got a friendly genie, who offers you a wish (of course, you could wish for his servitude and receive a nice belt and scimitar, but wishes are far, far more powerful), to which you giddily accept. But... what do you wish for? Here are my preferred wishes:
Belt of Levitation/Cloak of Flying: Levitation has literally no negative effects. It allows you to dodge basically all traps, avoid enemy attacks more easily, and cross terrain like the ocean easily. But, currently the only way to get levitation is fighting Huang Ming Pong, which wastes valuable time, or attempt to kill One-eyed Sam, which is just stupid. Wishing for the cloak gives pretty random materials, with the Mantle of Al-Khan usually being a superior alternative early on, but wishing for the belt is guaranteed to give a phoenix feather belt, AV 7, 0g, an great amount of protection compared to most other belts you'll find. This is usually my go to wish because I'm lazy.
Wand of Cloning/Wand of Mirroring: One of the biggest challenges of IVAN is the simple lack of items you can find. No matter how much you explore, there is an eventual limit to the amount of loot you can get. The aforementioned wands help to provide a method around that. Managed to get a rare SOCM? Make more. The only real question is which one do you wish for when. If you have excess of what you want to duplicate (over 5 being the magic number), wish for a wand of mirroring, as it will get you more items (see below). If not, or if you want to duplicate that sweet phoenix feather whip of thievery + 6, go for a wand of cloning and get to that excess of items.
Amulet of Lifesaving: The fabled AOLS
So you got a bunch of loot you plan cloning. How do you do it. First, read this. This is to help bolster your intelligence through Sci-Talk. No, you wanted to duplicate items? Well, that's pretty simple:
If you have a wand of cloning, place a stack of 5 items next to you, then zap the wand. Artifacts, Scrolls of Wishing, Scrolls of Charging, Scrolls of Body Swap, and other game breaking items cannot be cloned. Special weapons that are not artifacts such as a whip of thievery or a scythe of terror can be clone. Feel free to 'a'pply the wand with 4 items underneath you for just a little more loot.
If you have a wand of mirroring, place a stack of 4 items underneath you and hold 2 more items in your hands. Zap the wand on yourself and take the two items in your clone's hand, leaving you with 6 temporary items. Virtually everything can be mirrored, but as the name implies, they won't last. Like the wand of cloning, you can 'a'pply the wand for a final 6 more items.