Saturday, November 29, 2003

Usually the game after a victory is also pretty good. You are in a groove I guess. In any case, after winning with Newguy, I started up with Killbot the Caveman. Newguy was the first Knight I ever got past either the Quest or the Castle. I had been equally lame with Cavemen, no quest or castle triumphs.

But Killbot found a ring of conflict early, and that helped with the Mines. What helped even more was the 66 gold piece lamp in the lighting shop in the mines. Expensive lamps are magic lamps, and since the altar in the mines was Anu's, I could bless some water, and hence the lamp. First wish, as always, grey dragon scale mail.

OK, I had decent armor for a good part of the dungeon. I also picked up a ring of levitation along the way. Down to Medusa, zap a hole in the floor, blindfold, and comeback. Whack whack whack, kill Medusa. No shield of reflection, but boots of levitation. Damn.

Dealt with the castle. Again, ring of conflict really helped. Got some speedboots, and of course, the wand of wishing. Zapped myself a blessed bag of holding, ring of teleport control and shield of reflection. Up to the quest.

The quest enemy was the Chromatic Dragon. Kind of a pain in the ass. It had too many resistances. I eventually kill it, and get the Scepter of Might, which is a decent weapon.

Right now I'm on the first level of Hell, biding my time and eating wraiths. Sooner or later I'm going to have to suck it up, wish for a book of magic mapping, and take Hell.

OK, today I took Hell. It was a real pain in the ass as Cavemen suck at spells. I'd try to cast magic mapping a few times at each level, give up, and then just explore the level. I dispatched the first three demon lords and then killed Vlad. Got the amulet of life savings, which turned out to be important in a little bit. Killed Orcus, down to the bottom to find the vibrating square.

Found the vibrating square, left the candleholder there. Went up into the wizard's tower, killed the Wizard. Got the Book of the Dead. Back to the square. Candles, Bell, Book - Open Moloch's Sanctum. Then things got hairy.

OK, I'm in the middle of things, and Demogorgon turns up. Demogorgon is probably the worst monster ever. He gets four attacks a round, two of them being sickness attacks ala Pestilence. So he's whomping on my ass, and then he gates in Yeenoghu. Christ, now I'm fighting two Demon Lords (and Demogorgon himself is worth about two). It can't get any worse, right? Then the Wizard pops in for some fun. Demogorgon's illness attack kills me. Thanks you amulet of life savings, slap on amulet of life savings #2. More illness attacks, Unicorn horn not working well, die again. Slap on my last amulet of life savings. Manage to kill Demogorgon. Now at least I don't have to worry about the stupid illness attacks. Next step is Wand of Death for Mr. Wizard. Now all I have to deal with is one Demon Lord, and I send him to his reward. Later on I remembered that I have not only Demonbane, but also the +6 Greyswandir in my possession. Either of those would have worked much better than the Scepter of Might.

Onto the temple of Moloch. The high priest pounds on my ass, lowering me to about 40HP, but I kick his ass and get the amulet.

OK, now to get the hell out of, well, Hell. Stupid falling down levels trick. At one point I went down ten freaking levels trying to run up stairs. OK, made it to the main level and ran up to level one. So I'm standing on the edge of the elemental planes. We'll see what happens now...

Onto the Elemental Planes. Crap, my crystal ball is out of charges, and I have no way of charging it. Looks like for the second game in a row we'll have to play "getting warmer" while ditching the amulet of life savings for the Amulet of Yendor.

Earth took a while, but I eventually found the proper place. Air took forever, and I got pounded pretty good. Too many dragons on that level. To be honest, air is the only tough level. Fire is easy, but annoying, so long as you can levitate (and you need some kind of levitation to get past air). Water was the easiest of the all.

On to the Astral Plane. After a while I got sick of fighting everything, and just #invoked conflict using the Scepter of Might. Pissed off my angel, but so what? For once I picked the correct altar first, sacrificed the Amulet to Anu, and won the game.

Wins with consecutive characters, that's pretty damn good. Overall I can see why Cavemen are seen as the Barbarian's weaker brother, similar playing style, only with less firepower. A really tough quest opponent, and poor magic mapping. I think that Cavemen are good characters for people who want a challenge.

I've now won with all of the classic fighting types, and the only classes left that interest me are Healers, Wizards and Tourists. So I'm going to severly limit my play to those three classes and figure out how to win without being able to kick ass.

I started playing this game when it was Rogue, way back in 1985. Didn't play it too much in the '80s, but picked it up again in the early '90s, finally posting a win around 1994. Since then I've played on-and-off, but two wins in less than a week kind of makes my head spin, especially since it was with a pair of character classes that I hadn't been able to push past either the quest or the castle.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Here comes Newguy the Knight! I knew this was going to be a good one when the first thing I do is kill some minor character and get a +5 Elven Cloak out of the deal. So with good AC I took the mines. Nothing big in the mines though, got the luck stone, got the proper levels to #dip for Excaliber, and was off to the races.

Only while I killed a lot of stuff, I didn't get much junk. Not even a single fricking bag, so I had to live with a 52 item limit, which is really tough. Made it to the quest, but wasn't level 14 yet. So I went down to Medusa, but had no way to levitate. So I dug down and donned a blindfold, and came back up. Killed Medusa, got a shield of reflection. Still no way of crossing the water.

OK, I lied about not finding anything useful. By the time I got to the castle I had genocided Liches and Mindflayers. I played the passtune and wiped out the castle. Was able to grab the wand of wishing and finally got some junk - blessed bag of holding, +2 grey dragon scale mail, boots of speed and a ring of levitation.

I went to the Valley of the Dead and ate some wraiths. As I was now the proper level I decided to take the quest. Only first I went up and down the dungeon twice looking for leprechauns and nymphs. I had gained teleport control and wanted teleport to go with it. No such luck.

On to the quest. Damn, that was hard. The quest enemy is a dragon. At one point I was down to 10 hit points and prayed. Only my god didn't restore my hit points. Time to quaff all those potions of healing I had been saving. I eventually killed the dragon and got the Bell of Opening and the Mirror of Merlin (useless).

I'm now at level one and will work my way back down, digging passages and picking up usefuls that I couldn't while bagless. This is the best Knight I've ever had. I should in theory win, but screwups are always possible.

OK, I've been playing around in Hell. I have about 230HP, good armor, and a spellbook of magic mapping.

Seems like Knights cannot bribe Demon Lords. Oh well... Asmodeus escaped upstairs, I can't find him, so I'm sure I'll have to deal with him on my way back up. Juiblex and Baalzebub were killed.

I went through Vlad's tower and now have both the candlestick holder and an amulet of life savings.

Haven't seen Orcus' level yet. I figure I'm about halfway though Hell.

Brian's next big steps will be to follow me down and deal with the demon lords and Vlad. A Valkyrie should have no problem with this.

Orcus escaped too. I kept going down. Got to the bottom of Hell at level 53 and had a heck of a time finding the stupid vibrating square. At least I had my candles. OK, up to kill the Wizard. Mr. Wizard eats the Wand of Death and I retrieve the Book of the Dead.

Down to the vibrating square. Candles, Bell, Book. Onto Moloch's Sanctum. Fight my way into the altar and kill the High Priest. Yes! The Amulet of Yendor is mine!

OK, fighting my way back up was a huge pain in the ass. Some of this was my fault, I should have made sure that Asmodeus and Orcus were dead before I killed the Wizard. Meanwhile, I kept getting the "you fall back a few levels" in Hell. And the Wizard kept coming back. And I'm a little too used to fighting with Valks and Samurai, where the thoughest things in Hell are "Whack! Whack! Dead." Barbarians are more like "Whack! Whack! Whack! Dead." But even with Excalibur, Knights are like "Whack! Whack! Whack! Whack! Whack! What the Fuck? Whack! Whack! Dead."

Made it to the elemental planes, but no crystal ball. Usually at this point I'll just wish for one, but no spare wishes (I really didn't find crap in this game). So I had to put on the Amulet of Yendor and get the "you are feeling warmer" messages. When you do this you feel naked as you are without an Amulet of Life Savings. I got lucky on the Plane of Earth and walked right into the portal. Plane of Air really sucked because Air Elementals just beat the living shit out of me. I had somewhere around 350HP, and I was below 100. A good trick here is to hide out inside an energy vortex, so long as you are electricity proof. You just rest there and gain back hit points. Plane of Fire was OK, if you are flameproof you just work your way through it. Same with the Plane of Water.

OK, now I'm on the Astral Plane. Wish me luck (in other words, hope that I pick the correct altar on the first try). It's not automatic at this point, I lost a Samurai after getting this far once...

All Hail Newguy the Demigod!

I picked the middle altar, and I was wrong. But damn, a ring of conflict really helps in the Astral Plane. My second choice, the left hand altar, was correct. So I sacrificed the Amulet of Yendor and Ascended.

Some reflections here...

I ended the game with no wishes, a pair of amulets of life saving, and a few scrolls of enchant armor. I really should have stopped and pumped up my AC (finished at -15), but was sloppy and didn't. Only artifact was Excalibur, which I got by dipping. So I guess I can claim to have won without getting a single weapon from my god.

Knights are tough to win with. Due to their armor and low starting strength, they become burdened quickly so speed is a problem at the beginning of the game. Their quest artifact grants ESP, unlike some others which are more useful (Brian should be appreciating the Orb of Fate, which cuts damage in half - I had to pump my Knight up to 370 HP to be comfortable). If you can get a knight powerful past experience level 12, you have a good chance. Being able to #dip for Excalibur at level 5 is a huge bonus

OK, that being said, I'm not going to play Knights again until I upgrade to Nethack 3.4. I'll try to win next with Cavemen, and if I can win with them I'll go for Healers and Wizards. Then we'll see how hard a Tourist really is. So four more character classes and I'll move over to the same game you guys are playing (and if 3.5 comes out before then, I'll skip 3.4). OK, I've won with A,B,E,K,S and V. That's half the character classes in the game.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Here comes Militant the Knight. He was wandering around trying to dip his long sword to get Excalibur when he unleashed a water demon. I figured that this was going to be a quick death, but this was one of those rare times where the water demon actually grants you a wish. +2 Grey dragon scale mail, thank you. I eventually got Excalibur, so I'm a pretty kicking fighter.

Took me a long time to find the stairs to the mines, which is probably why I survived the mines. Got some well-enchanted helments and shoes out of the mines, plus a bag of holding.

So right now I'm just going down the dungeon, looking for the quest portal (level 10 right now, so I wouldn't be able to go on the quest in any case).

Only really stupid mistake so far was that I killed a rat and then ate it without paying attention. It was a were-rat, so technically human, and I am now a cannibal. So I aggravate monsters. Probably didn't make my god too happy either, they are really strict on knights.

So much for Militant the Knight, who died on the quest. I went all the way down the castle, and even cleared it. Then I went on the quest and was fighting the quest enemy, a dragon. Only the dragon is invisible, and can teleport. Since I couldn't see invisible, it just whacked on my ass until I died. I tried to run away, but it was faster than me. So the key hint here is to be able to see invisible before you go on the knight's quest.

If I had played knights before, I would be really pissed off at this, but I figure the first time you do the quest in each character class, it is a learning experience.

By the way, my top six scores currently look like this:
1. Idiot the Barbarian - ascended to demigod-hood.
2. Icewater the Archeologist - ascended to demigod-hood.
3. Salad the Samurai - ascended to demigod-hood.
4. Colin the Elf - ascended to demigod-hood.
5. Militant the Knight - Killed on The Quest by invisible Ixoth.
6. Focus the Wizard - Drowned in a moat.

In other words, this weekend I had two games good enough that only four victories outpaced them (the other six victories were in other log files, and hence don't show up here.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Please welcome Focus the Wizard.

Started off with a wand of polymorph. First my pet turned into a lizard, and then a kobold. Third time was a charm, got a red naga. Went into the mines, let the Naga do the heavy lifting. Got the luckstone, and for once remembered the candles. Also got a bag of holding out of the mines.

Slowly but surely worked my way down the dungeon. Usually I'll go for a spell-casting wizard, with no real armor. Usually my wizards die an early death. This time I'm using real armor. It was pretty good until I ran into a rust monster. Now it is kind of crappy. As soon as I get grey dragon scale mail I'm going to dump this metal crap and go over to a spell-casting strategy, but for now it is hack-and-slash. It will be cool to have good spells not burned out by when I'm in the lower levels.

OK, so I found a graveyard the level above the quest, so I am level 20. I'm currently on the quest itself, but haven't met the Dark One yet. I beat the wizard quest once, about five or six years ago. That character killed the Wizard of Yendor, but was slain by the High Priest of Moloch, so I've never had a wizard actually gain the amulet.

What would be nice in this game - grey dragon scale mail. A ring of conflict. Some way of getting reflection. Note that reflection is kind of a bitch for wizards, as the shield totally craps out your spell-casting ability, and the quest artifact is an amulet of ESP with other features, so no amulet of reflection. I need ring or boots of levitation. I genocided L's, and have a magic marker. I should get rid of mind flayers and ;'s before it is too late.

Once wizards pass level 15, they get automatic teleport control. I need to eat a leprechaun now.

For a more familar character type I would estimate a better than 50% chance of victory. Since I don't play wizards often enough (or more to the point, since I don't normally advance wizards this far), maybe a 33% chance.

Completed the quest, one of the few times I've ever done that before reaching the castle. So now I have the Bell of Opening and a cool amulet of ESP.

Also ended up with a smokey potion. Always bless those before your drink them (no matter what they are). There is a small chance that a djini will pop out and give you a wish. One did, and now I have grey dragon scale mail. So I chucked most of my metal armor (I kind of like the amulets of giant strength) and have spell casting ability.

I also went to my altar and decided to sacrifice until the bastard gave me Magicbane. Took forever, but I got it.

OK. I still need some form of reflection, levitation, and some speed boots. But for now I seem to be doing well. I also ate a tengu and can now teleport at will, which should get me out of many bad spots if I can simply remember I can run away,

Very stupid death. Made it down to the castle, but no ring or boots of levitation. Also no musical instrument for opening the main gate. I did have the levitation spell, so I used it. Except it ran out while I was floating over the moat. Since I wasn't within one square of dry land, I drowned.

Crap crap crap.

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