Discussion:
YAAP: Junethack, 3.4.3 Valk
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David Damerell
2018-06-22 16:10:31 UTC
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https://eu.hardfought.org/userdata/d/damerell/nh343/dumplog/1528723139.nh343.txt

Farvel damerell the Demigoddess...
You went to your reward with 3359832 points,
Grayswandir (worth 8000 zorkmids and 20000 points)
The Orb of Fate (worth 3500 zorkmids and 8750 points)
1 amulet of life saving (worth 150 zorkmids),
and 0 pieces of gold, after 65120 moves.

This was a bit of a struggle. I have not played NetHack since
ascending a monk in 2015, and in the last two years I have played a
lot of Crawl; hence I made some mistakes down to Crawl finger bindings
and also was frustrated by the lack of Crawl features like being able
to search for any item one has seen anywhere in the dungeon and travel
to it. [1]

Conversely Crawl instincts caused me to be overly cautious - I had
some brief heart-in-mouth moments when surrounded by summon nasties
until remembering that in NetHack this is a mild annoyance not a
horrific crisis.

I thought I'd play yet another 3.4.3 Valk to get my hand back in
during Junethack before trying something harder. Since it took 3 weeks
to get one home, I'm not sure how much I'll get done in the remaining
week. (It hasn't been that bad; I simply haven't been playing much. I
had six deaths before this, all just before or after dipping for
Excalibur).

I managed to avoid any silly early-game mistakes (except eating a
dwarf for aggravate monster), got Excalibur, and picked up a magic
lamp while clearing the Mines. I cashed the lamp for a GDSM, and of
course at that point (my main frustration with vanilla NetHack) the
game is essentially in the bag if one doesn't make mistakes. I hadn't
been to D:4, but I knew that the next seriously threatening monster I
would see would be Rodney.

I did make some mistakes, including evaporating Excalibur (being used
to scrolls of enchant weapon that let you pick what to enchant) - but
I had got Grayswandir from a sacrifice, so while I would miss
autosearching and level drain protection, this was more of a nuisance
than a serious issue.

I also forgot that the confused blessed remove curse trick only works
on uncursed items, so burned up all my remove curses failing to make a
cursed potion of gain level for the stylish exit from the Sanctum.
This could have been problematic both because of the missing scrolls
(albeit I finished with 31 potions of holy water) and because I forgot
to wait long enough after doing the Invocation to get the first
demigod event; I got a summon nasties just after making the stylish
entrance, and some other summoning went on, and there was a nasty
press which I had to hack my way through entirely unnecessarily,
taking some damage since aligned priests are one of the few things
that actually do significant amounts.

Another mistake was not wresting my last wish for a ring of free
action. I think one of the few ways I could have died was if I'd had
to do Pestilence (as it happened, Famine's altar was the correct one)
and got paralysed at an inopportune moment... twice, since I was
wearing life saving.

A third mistake was teleporting to the bottom with Asmodeus but being
insufficiently careful not to kill him. I mapped about half of
Gehennom the hard way. I also nearly invited comedy by forgetting
about Vlad until I'd killed Rodney (and presumably gone to the VS and
gone "bother!") but CEB kindly reminded me averting that difficulty.

I was a little unlucky with some items, getting no genocides (and
hence killing 5 arch-lichen and 4 master lichen) and the Castle wand
at 0:1 without finding charging; conversely I found a magic marker in
Gehennom which let me have all the magic mapping and gold detection I
wanted, and of course the early GDSM was more than enough luck to win.
I didn't get any means of levitation until finding the ring on the
ascension run, so never cleaned out the back rooms in the Castle. (I
could have gone back with the jumping or levitation spells, but it was
moot by the time I had them sensibly usable).

Other memorable bits: I got the amulet of reflection from Sokoban
which as ever is the thing that most promotes survival but also makes
for a lot of encumbrance exasperation compared to the bag of
holding. I spent a lot of time clearing down to the Castle while
Burdened, especially after getting the Orb of Weight, on the basis
that I could just drop my sack if a crisis occurred (and also that a
crisis was not going to occur, since every monster in this phase of
the game is a speedbump).

The Quest was horribly annoying after two years of playing a roguelike
that doesn't just let you walk into lava. The Plane of Fire was also
vexing, since I had to chop up any number of unthreatening-but-high-HP
fire elementals before I could read my scroll of gold detection
without risking it being burned up. Conversely, displacement really
earned its keep on the Plane of Air; I only got engulfed about twice,
so monsters couldn't concentrate on my position turning it into an
endless slog. I always think displacement is best (if a CoMR isn't
your only option) but never more so than when you're trying to run not
fight.

I could write more but if you're reading this you probably know what a
vanilla Valkyrie ascension is like.

[1] Also, this kind of thing causes actual difficulties; it's easy to
forget that every place a monster died has to be looked at manually
and a decision made about each item as to whether to pick it up, stash
it, or make a note for later. In Crawl, autoexplore [2] will make sure
I see all the items that got dropped, and a marginally useful item can
just be left because if I find myself wanting it later the game
remembers for me that it exists and where it is. Only after a bit of
play did I get back into the habit of looking at everything.

[2] I'm not a big fan of autoexplore - mostly I regard it as a patch
over one of Crawl's failings, the too-large levels. However, it is
pretty handy for checking you haven't missed anything... and this
would be even more true in NetHack which (some variants aside) doesn't
distinguish between solid rock and unseen space, making it hard to
know if you've looked into every corner of every corridor.
--
David Damerell <***@chiark.greenend.org.uk>
And now, a seemingly inexplicable shot of a passing train.
Today is Mania, Presuary.
Tomorrow will be Aponoia, Presuary.
forbincol
2018-06-23 12:05:29 UTC
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Well done!

I do find it a bit amusing that people complain about vanilla being too easy while playing dwarven valkyerie on the older (much easier) version of the game.
David Damerell
2018-06-24 21:39:08 UTC
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Post by forbincol
I do find it a bit amusing that people complain about vanilla being too
easy while playing dwarven valkyerie on the older (much easier) version
of the game.
Eh? 3.6 isn't _much_ harder; it's slightly harder, and making a game that
is much too easy slightly harder still leaves it much too easy. 3.6 still
has a huge midgame cruise where every monster is a pointless speedbump.
--
David Damerell <***@chiark.greenend.org.uk>
And now, a seemingly inexplicable shot of a passing train.
Today is Epithumia, Presuary - a weekend.
Tomorrow will be Olethros, Presuary - a weekend.
Jorgen Grahn
2018-06-25 19:01:57 UTC
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Post by David Damerell
Post by forbincol
I do find it a bit amusing that people complain about vanilla being too
easy while playing dwarven valkyerie on the older (much easier) version
of the game.
Eh? 3.6 isn't _much_ harder; it's slightly harder, and making a game that
is much too easy slightly harder still leaves it much too easy. 3.6 still
has a huge midgame cruise where every monster is a pointless speedbump.
For what it's worth, I /like/ the cruising aspect. It's the payoff for
running from ants etc in the very early game, and I have fun
collecting things.

/Jorgen
--
// Jorgen Grahn <grahn@ Oo o. . .
\X/ snipabacken.se> O o .
forbincol
2018-06-25 23:42:06 UTC
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Post by David Damerell
Eh? 3.6 isn't _much_ harder; it's slightly harder, and making a game that
is much too easy slightly harder still leaves it much too easy. 3.6 still
has a huge midgame cruise where every monster is a pointless speedbump.
If you are finding it so easy, perhaps don't play the character role who merely bumps into anything to kill them and has very easy, almost immediate access to Excalibur and Grayswandir?
Why didn't you play the current version of the game?
It's not just you I'm picking on here lol. I've noticed lots of people (often crawl players) complain about vanilla nethack and how easily they can ascend only to later realize that they are playing Lawful Dwarven Valk in version 3.4.3 where Elbereth works in Gehenomm, and you can just stand on an upstair and kill things in the back as they flee... That's cheating in my book, and I'm glad they have made efforts to change it. Yet, a certain subset of players still play 3.4.3...
David Damerell
2018-06-26 13:37:01 UTC
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Post by forbincol
Post by David Damerell
Eh? 3.6 isn't _much_ harder; it's slightly harder, and making a game that
is much too easy slightly harder still leaves it much too easy. 3.6 still
has a huge midgame cruise where every monster is a pointless speedbump.
If you are finding it so easy, perhaps don't play the character role who
merely bumps into anything to kill them and has very easy, almost
immediate access to Excalibur and Grayswandir?
Why didn't you play the current version of the game?
I wrote in the OP:
"I thought I'd play yet another 3.4.3 Valk to get my hand back in".
Post by forbincol
It's not just you I'm picking on here lol. I've noticed lots of people
(often crawl players) complain about vanilla nethack and how easily they
can ascend only to later realize that they are playing Lawful Dwarven
Valk in version 3.4.3
If you think that's all the difference, try playing Crawl.

Of course (say) 3.6.1 Tourist has a harder opening game than 3.4.3 Valk.
That doesn't change the fact that the player can just switch off after
the opening game is done and wake up somewhere around the Invocation (or
rather, that all the game has is silly typo deaths; monsters become
irrelevant.)
--
David Damerell <***@chiark.greenend.org.uk> Distortion Field!
Today is First Monday, Presuary.
Tomorrow will be First Tuesday, Presuary.
m***@yahoo.com
2018-06-27 14:33:30 UTC
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Tourist has THE hardest opening game. Would much rather play healer or archaeologist. Man that's a tough early game for tourist!
Post by David Damerell
Post by forbincol
Post by David Damerell
Eh? 3.6 isn't _much_ harder; it's slightly harder, and making a game that
is much too easy slightly harder still leaves it much too easy. 3.6 still
has a huge midgame cruise where every monster is a pointless speedbump.
If you are finding it so easy, perhaps don't play the character role who
merely bumps into anything to kill them and has very easy, almost
immediate access to Excalibur and Grayswandir?
Why didn't you play the current version of the game?
"I thought I'd play yet another 3.4.3 Valk to get my hand back in".
Post by forbincol
It's not just you I'm picking on here lol. I've noticed lots of people
(often crawl players) complain about vanilla nethack and how easily they
can ascend only to later realize that they are playing Lawful Dwarven
Valk in version 3.4.3
If you think that's all the difference, try playing Crawl.
Of course (say) 3.6.1 Tourist has a harder opening game than 3.4.3 Valk.
That doesn't change the fact that the player can just switch off after
the opening game is done and wake up somewhere around the Invocation (or
rather, that all the game has is silly typo deaths; monsters become
irrelevant.)
--
Today is First Monday, Presuary.
Tomorrow will be First Tuesday, Presuary.
Janis Papanagnou
2018-06-27 15:12:39 UTC
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Post by m***@yahoo.com
Tourist has THE hardest opening game. Would much rather play healer or
archaeologist. Man that's a tough early game for tourist!
My personal statistics show huge _race specific differences_ with Arcs:
~50% - Arc-Dwa, Hea-Gno, Hea-Hum
~45% - Rog-Hum, Wiz-Hum
~40% - Arc-Hum, Tou-Hum, Cav-Gno
~20% - Arc-Gno
with gnomish archaeologist by far the most difficult combination of the above
mentioned three difficult roles.

Tourists are not that bad (within their league) if you use his options; throw
darts, use camera, wear armor and wield [any acceptable] melee weapons you
find, rely on pet.

Janis
m***@yahoo.com
2018-06-27 16:18:01 UTC
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Post by Janis Papanagnou
Post by m***@yahoo.com
Tourist has THE hardest opening game. Would much rather play healer or
archaeologist. Man that's a tough early game for tourist!
~50% - Arc-Dwa, Hea-Gno, Hea-Hum
~45% - Rog-Hum, Wiz-Hum
~40% - Arc-Hum, Tou-Hum, Cav-Gno
~20% - Arc-Gno
with gnomish archaeologist by far the most difficult combination of the above
mentioned three difficult roles.
Tourists are not that bad (within their league) if you use his options; throw
darts, use camera, wear armor and wield [any acceptable] melee weapons you
find, rely on pet.
Janis
Right but those tips are what EVERY low powered character does at the start. My priests who start with str 9 do the same behaviors obviously.

Tourists can get any weapon to basic. That's about it. The camera is a decent (though by no means foolproof) escape item.
m***@yahoo.com
2018-06-27 16:19:02 UTC
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Post by m***@yahoo.com
Post by Janis Papanagnou
Post by m***@yahoo.com
Tourist has THE hardest opening game. Would much rather play healer or
archaeologist. Man that's a tough early game for tourist!
~50% - Arc-Dwa, Hea-Gno, Hea-Hum
~45% - Rog-Hum, Wiz-Hum
~40% - Arc-Hum, Tou-Hum, Cav-Gno
~20% - Arc-Gno
with gnomish archaeologist by far the most difficult combination of the above
mentioned three difficult roles.
Tourists are not that bad (within their league) if you use his options; throw
darts, use camera, wear armor and wield [any acceptable] melee weapons you
find, rely on pet.
Janis
Right but those tips are what EVERY low powered character does at the start. My priests who start with str 9 do the same behaviors obviously.
Tourists can get any weapon to basic. That's about it. The camera is a decent (though by no means foolproof) escape item.
Gnomish archaeologist is pretty weak, though you can do protection racket easily.
Janis Papanagnou
2018-06-27 16:42:24 UTC
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Post by m***@yahoo.com
Gnomish archaeologist is pretty weak, though you can do protection racket easily.
I don't seem to survive long enough with them to plunder enough vaults and
reach mine-town.

Janis
Janis Papanagnou
2018-06-27 16:39:56 UTC
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Post by m***@yahoo.com
Right but those tips are what EVERY low powered character does at the start.
Sure. (And we specifically focussed on the three most difficult classes.)
Post by m***@yahoo.com
Tourists can get any weapon to basic.
And some important weapons beyond basic; early common scimitars to Skilled,
unicorn horns as well, and early common short swords, darts and daggers to
Expert - which is extremely useful, since you can switch darts to daggers
at some point and daggers are very common, and plentiful in the mines. An
elven dagger may be named and will provide detection of common early orcs
and a bonus against them, so you get your first scimitar. But you can also
continue melee with a dagger; by throwing and meleeing you'll quickly gain
the multi-shot capability.
Post by m***@yahoo.com
The camera is a decent (though by no means foolproof) escape item.
You shall combine it with your missile weapons, not only use it for escapes.
Killing, blinding and killing, will make you advance levels, and Tourists
(if memory serves well enough) quickly gain lots of HPs with every XL.

Janis
jim in austin
2018-06-27 17:06:46 UTC
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Post by Janis Papanagnou
Sure. (And we specifically focussed on the three most difficult classes.)
Once the mini-mjollnir behavior of the new 3.6.1 aklys is more widely
recognized and adopted it could prove a boon to the weaker starters
and/or ranged game challenged roles.
Post by Janis Papanagnou
Post by m***@yahoo.com
Tourists can get any weapon to basic.
With one unfortunate exception: clubs
David Damerell
2018-06-28 00:36:30 UTC
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Out of interest, what about Rangers? I've long felt elven Rangers get
badly compromised by not getting the cloak of displacement.
--
David Damerell <***@chiark.greenend.org.uk> Kill the tomato!
Today is First Wednesday, Presuary.
Tomorrow will be First Thursday, Presuary.
Janis Papanagnou
2018-06-28 06:07:49 UTC
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Post by David Damerell
Out of interest, what about Rangers? I've long felt elven Rangers get
badly compromised by not getting the cloak of displacement.
My personal values[*] here are
77% - Ran-Hum
72% - Ran-Gno
71% - Ran-Orc
55% - Ran-Elf
A quite significant difference it seems; the cloak might be a factor here.

Janis

[*] http://nethack.gridbug.de/rrall.html
David Damerell
2018-06-30 21:06:11 UTC
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And in the closing hours of Junethack, exasperatingly, I lost a Sporkhack
Ranger in the Sanctum to an aligned priest doing damage so fast by the
time I had a potion of full healing out of my bag, I was dead.

This was my own fault; I'd used up an AOLS on Asmodeus earlier (who also
hits like a freight train) and another on a stupid choking death, and also
could have rubber-chickened the priest or teleported them away if I'd
panicked one turn earlier.
--
David Damerell <***@chiark.greenend.org.uk>
Clown shoes. I hope that doesn't bother you.
Today is First Friday, Presuary.
Tomorrow will be First Saturday, Presuary - a weekend.
m***@yahoo.com
2018-07-08 05:24:40 UTC
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The cloak of displacement (especially for rangers) is really awesome. Early game monsters run in circles from displacement. Rangers use displacement pet and missile weapons to really frustrate monsters.

Rangers die quickly to packs of monsters, but one on one few monsters can really kill a ranger because of the cloak of displacement, and also how well it combines with pet tactics and missile weapons.

A monster striking at a displaced image is basically it losing a turn, in a way the cloak of displacement is another form of speed.

I found early speed boots and speed wand with a ranger, followed by a stalker corpse. Along with my displacement, missile weapons, and pet it was an easy ascension after that.
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