Thursday, April 29, 2004

OK, I'm now working with Bard the Barbarian (I'm using Hex counting, his younger brothers will be Bare and Barf). Went down to the mines, and found a magic lamp. Boom, Grey Dragon Scale Mail. Also found speed boots in the mines, and a +3 Dwarvish Helm. So I'm bouncing around with an AC of -8. Then I went through and got the amulet of reflection from the Sokoban. A throne room got a wish which turned into a blessed bag of holding, and a second throne room wish turned into three blessed scrolls of genocide. Good bye R's, h's and ;'s. I next need to find forms of levitation and teleport control. But I'm pretty far from the castle, so there's plenty of time to find stuff.

Well, that Barbarian ended poorly. I was cruising except for one thing, my two-handed sword was extra rusty. I found a new sword, and weilded that. Uh oh, cursed! OK, drop all of my stuff and dip it into a fountain until it is uncursed. Whoops, the fountain overflows, and my big pile of cool stuff disappears. No big problem, I'll just drop a rock in the pool, and in theory I'll dig my stuff out. Problem. I'm wearing two rings, and since I've got cursed two-handed sword, I can't get them off. So I'm burning through food, and my food supply has been disappeared under a pool of water. Start looking for something to kill. Starve to death.

D'oh. :(

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Yes, I have a character going. That would be Samnine the Samurai. Doing pretty well, I'm past both the mines and the Sokoban. I have Excalibur (best pre-quest Samurai weapon), Grey Dragon Scale Mail, Speed Boots and a bag of holding. Things to collect before Hell:

Ring of Conflict
Teleport Control

That's about it. Yes, this is doomed to a screwed up death.

OK, I guess I'm rusty at this game. I went down to try to complete the quest and got to the end level. I was trying to decide which amulet to wear, life saving or reflection. Reflection seemed like a good choice, as there were so many wands on the level. But the bad guy wields the Tsurgi, which has a 1 in X (20?) chance of instantly killing you. So I was wearing life savings. I kept getting nailed by wands of sleep, and I hadn't picked up sleep resistance yet. So I threw up my hands and went back into the main branch looking for an elf to eat for sleep resistance.

With a little thought, the proper thing to do is to go down to Medusa's Island and to try to pick up a shield of reflection.

I've managed to find ring of teleport control. I still need levitation and conflict.

Good Lord, Samurai suck at casting spells. Even with spellcaster's robes and nothing else, a level one spell still has a 25% failure rate. Either I need to find lots of scrolls of magic mapping, or I'm doing lots of exploring.

The big question is should I also do the Castle if I go all the way down to Medusa? And if yes, what about the first level of Hell?

So I go down to the Medusa level and kill Medusa. I get the shield of reflection, and head back up to do the quest. I kill the quest enemy, and get the Tsrugi. On my way back up I stop to snack on a piece of food. Except I was already satiated. No fucking warning, you choke on your food.

At least I had an amulet of life savings. So I'm still in the game. But I think I'm going to be missing that amulet (no doubt I'll be replacing it once I have my hands on the Wand of Wishing in the Castle).

Speaking of the castle, there are three genocides you want to pull out of your ass before you attempt the castle. In order, they are L (damn liches can curse you and destroy your armor, plus do other bad things), ; (instant drowning because you are standing too close to the moat sucks) and R (by now you have nice toys, no reason to lose them to rust monsters and disenchanters).

Cleared out the castle and the first level of Hell. Sat down to sort things out. This is one of those times when you really need to pause and think.

OK. I've got loads of potions. One of my policies is to hold off on all healing potions until I get to Hell. I take all of my healings, and dip them into a potion of speed. They are now diluted extra healings. I take my normal extra healings, and dip them in a fountain to dilute them. They now bundle with the former normal healings. I take this new batch and dip in a potion of boost energy. I now have a bunch of diluted full healings. Take natural full healings, dip to dilute, and I now have 21 diluted potions of full healing. Dip in holy water to bless. In theory this is 21 * 8 hitpoints added to my max. But by chance, full healing in this game is smokey. Why does that make a difference? Because sometimes blessed smokey potions contain djinnis, and hence wishes. So I actually end up with a 160HP boost, plus a free amulet of life savings.

So here I am: 391HP, +6 Tsurgi, -19 AC w/speed boots. I have rings of conflict, teleport control, slow digestion and levitation. I have a wand of death. I have a wand of wishing that I haven't used yet. I think I'm ready to go here. Get ready for either a tale of woe or a victory.

Well, I went down through Hell. Killed Vlad in one stroke and got the candlestick holder. Went to the bottom and found the vibrating square. But Samurai cannot use spells, so no magic mapping for Samnine. I had to explore the whole damn thing. Killed the Wiz, came back down to the square, candles, bell book.

Collected the amulet. Had a huge pain in the ass time climbing out, kept falling back in Hell. The Wiz kept showing up, double troubling, and stealing back the amulet. Argh! Had to kill him 12 times. Up through the dungeon. Onto the Elemental Planes.

Part two of why Samurai suck. Crystal balls don't seem to work for samurai. So off with the Amulet of Life Savings and you have to wear the Amulet of Yendor. Play hot or cold. Takes forever to navigate the planes. Finally get to the Astral Plane, which is too easy when you have 500 hitpoints and a handful of Amulets of Life Savings.

So Samnine has achieved demigodhood. Two down, a bunch to go...

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

I'm currently playing Mon15. You might think this is my 15th Monk, but I'm counting in Hex. In any case, Mon15 found two magic lamps in the store in the mines. I blessed one and made a wish, and then I am keeping the second until I can get my hands on more holy water.

Well, what does a monk wish for? Can't get the cool Grey Dragon Scale Mail. I wished for the Master Key of Thievery. Normally I don't wish for quest toys, but heck, monks are hard. What makes the key so groovy? Two things. First (most important), it cuts physical damage in half. In other words, if things are pounding on me, I have in effect doubled my hitpoints. Second, it gives teleport control, which is a good thing. I think my next wish will be for either a ring of slow digestion or for some speed boots.

I went to to bottom of the mines and got the luckstone. Haven't blessed it yet. Also got a bag of holding out of the Sokoban (haven't blessed that either). Lots of stuff to bless I guess.

I have three good spells, in addition to crap like "wizard lock." I should use sleep and confuse monster much more as offensive weapons, but extra healing really comes in handy.

I'll keep you guys posted. I think this guy is due for a stupid death, but I'll try to be careful. Brian, how's your Valk?

Mon15 is in limbo. I had a system crash, but Recover does not work for Macs. So unless I can find a working version of recover, I think we are screwed.

Knights, who were kind of a pain in the ass in the old version, look kind of interesting here. They get Excalibur at level 5, have the horse, and their spell points just plain shoot up with experience levels. I'm guessing that when played properly they switch from fighters to spellcasters once they reach a certain level. I have this vision of a knight riding a dragon, shooting out magic missiles, and then whacking on anything that gets close with Excalibur.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Went down to the Sokoban, got the bag of holding. Then turned around and completed the mines. Nothing good in terms of magical items though. However, I was level 11. Despite a good number of spellbooks, I didn't have too many useful spells. I eventually broke the veetarian code when a tengu left a corpse, the chance of teleport control was too much to pass up.

Quest portal was on level 14. I was only level 12 when I found it, but I've heard that the quest enemy for monks is the toughest in the game. Usually people take out the castle before they do the monk quest.

Sadly, I found an altar next to a beehive. I wanted to be able to have lots of corpses for sacrificing, and I wasn't careful. D'oh. Stung to death.

Started out with a new knight. Rode around on my pony for a while, but I don't have a good grasp of that. I wonder if I could ride a dragon? Reached level five and dipped my sword to get Excalibur. Forgot how slowly knights advance in hitpoints. No wonder why this was one of the last classes I won with in 3.2. Well, he fell to killer bees also. Damn bees...

OK, after two straight good characters lost to killer bees, we are going to be a little more careful. Next stop is a wizard. In the older versions of nethack you could cast a spell only so many times before it became overused. The new system is much better, it actually gives credit for using magic. I like that wizard's spell points just plain shoot up with levels. And I like that they start out with force bolt rather than some random spellbook. It makes them worth playing. I never won with a wizard in 3.2, but I think I have a chance in 3.4.

In any case, on level two I found an altar, and since I have a ring of slow digestion the only thing to do here is to sacrifice until I get Magicbane. Well, one thing to learn is that your dexterity (consitution?) goes down if you spend you entire life satiated. Don't wear a ring of slow digestion while satiated if you wish to keep good stats.

OK, it took forever, but my god gave me Magicbane. This is the one weapon in the game that should shouldn't enchant to max. The natural breakeven on Magicbane is +2. After that it starts to weaken.

Wizards should skip the mines and do the Sokoban first. Why? Because the Sokoban is right after the Oracle, and the Oracle level has a bunch of statues. Sometimes there are spellbooks inside of statues...

Killed by a giant spider on my way to the Sokoban...

Friday, April 16, 2004

So I downloaded the new version after giving up Tourist/Healer/Wizard for 3.2. Took me seven tries to win. I've said it many times, Vals are too easy.

Here are some quick thoughts:
I like the Sokoban, but wouldn't have been able to solve it if Brian hadn't told me about Scrolls of Earth.

Seems like it is much harder to get wraith corpses in the new version.

Haven't tried out the magic system, which is much different from the old version.

Had a really close call on the Elemental Plane of Air. An Archon gated in a bunch of monsters when I was blind. One of them was a green slime, and I got slimed. I'm slowly turning into slime, and don't know what to do (this is how Brian lost his best game). But one of the
other monsters that got gated in was a Steam Vortex, which sets you on fire. I got all of my slime burned off me in that attack. So I guess the moral of the story is to keep a wand of fire for yourself in case of sliming.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Well, that sucked...

I had a decent Barbarian going. Completed Sokoban and the mines. Fighting my way through a room with lots of monsters when I get blinded. No big deal, I'm tough. I kill a bunch of beasties and then walk onto the treasure pile. "Touching the cockatrice corpse was a deadly mistake... You turn to stone."

So I guess the lesson learned is that when you are blind, stay put. Christ, I died with a unicorn horn, I could have simply cured my blindness too.

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